Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE), the owner and operator of multiple US sports and entertainment venues, has struck a deal that will lead to the availability of Ball Corporation’s “infinitely recyclable” aluminium cup for fans at Pepsi Center in Denver.

The 18,000-capacity venue is the home of the Denver Nuggets NBA basketball team, the Colorado Avalanche NHL ice hockey franchise and the National Lacrosse League’s Colorado Mammoth.

Pepsi Center will be the first major professional sports arena in the US to introduce the cups at full scale, with the launch slated for the Nuggets’ 2019-20 home season opener against the Phoenix Suns tomorrow (October 25).

KSE said that the introduction of the aluminium cups, which will be used at all Pepsi Center events for draft soda and beer products, is a milestone for the group as it seeks to reduce plastic use and promote sustainability across its venues.

Underlining the sustainable qualities of the cups, KSE pointed out that 75% of the aluminium that has ever been produced worldwide is still thought to be in use today. The group added that the cups are lightweight, sturdy, cool to touch and can be customised with logos and graphics.

“KSE and the Pepsi Center have prioritised sustainability efforts in recent years, which have brought improvements around limiting energy use and consumption, and enhancing our recycling opportunities is a natural continuation of these efforts,” KSE president and chief executive Jim Martin said.

“Introducing the aluminium cup option provides a more sustainable gameday and event experience for our fans and we are thrilled to be the first professional sports arena to lead this change.”

Ball supplies sustainable aluminium packaging for beverage, personal care and household products. The Denver-based company provides “technology and services primarily for the US government” and has clients in a variety of sectors, including aerospace.

The latest partnership is part of Ball’s recently launched pilot programme, which will produce a limited supply of aluminium cups through to 2020 to test customer demand from major sports and entertainment venues seeking to replace plastic cups.

John Hayes, Ball’s chairman, president and chief executive, added: “As a premier sports and entertainment destination in Denver, Pepsi Center is making a meaningful difference on promoting sustainability in its industry. At Ball, we’ve seen a lot of excitement for the aluminium cup since launch, and we look forward to NBA, NHL and NLL fans in Denver experiencing them for the first time.”

Aside from Pepsi Center, the Nuggets, Avalanche and Mammoth, KSE also owns and operates Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids and the franchise’s stadium, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, as well as the Paramount Theatre in downtown Denver.

KSE also operates Altitude Sports & Entertainment, a 24-hour regional television channel; retail provider Altitude Authentics; and Altitude Tickets, the official ticketing provider for the group’s teams and venues.

Image: KSE