Breaking Update: WWE Cancels All 3 Colorado Shows
By Ryan Clark | May 20, 2009
Dubbed the "Denver Debacle," a schedule conflict erupted after the Denver Nuggets advanced to the Western Conference Finals putting Game 4 of the seven game series on the same night, and location, as the WWE's Live Raw event: May 25 at the Pepsi Center.
All three shows will move to the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, home of the Denver Nuggets' current opponent, the LA Lakers.
McMahon said WWE would return to Colorado with an engagement at the Denver Coliseum on August 7. A spokeswoman for the Coliseum said the WWE would determine when tickets would go on sale for that event.
"We need to get back and make it right," said McMahon. "We're going to do the right thing by our audience for sure and that's why we're coming back in August."
McMahon stressed that his issue is not with fans in Colorado, but with Nuggets and Pepsi Center owner Stan Kroenke.
"I didn't create this controversy, it's Stan Kroenke's inept management which created this controversy and quite frankly Kroenke's management is driving us out of Denver. We don't want to leave Denver, they're driving us out," he said. "They wouldn't even make a deal unless there was a joint press release. You wouldn't believe the things they wanted me to say."
Kroenke Sports Enterprises (KSE) Executive Vice President Paul Andrews confirmed they were asking for a joint release, but said he thought an amicable solution had been reached in principle.
Andrews said KSE first learned of McMahon's intentions to move the events when he appeared live on 4 O'Clock at 9NEWS.
McMahon had previously asked for five tickets to the Nuggets-Lakers game on May 25 to facilitate a face-to-face meeting with Kroenke, who he had repeatedly insulted on television.
"Vince was remorseful for his outrageous statements," said Andrews.
KSE suggested in a written statement that McMahon was more interested in publicity than a solution.
"Despite the propaganda campaign launched by WWE and Chairman Vince McMahon, the KSE team maintained a professional manner throughout this process. We had hoped for, and worked hard toward an amicable resolution - which we verbally had on Tuesday," Andrews said in a written statement.
"We understand there will be many disappointed WWE fans in the Denver area. It's unfortunate and disappointing that WWE executives ultimately chose this path. The sensationalism employed by WWE in this instance is not surprising," the statement read. "The amount of publicity and coverage enjoyed by their group over the last few days has clearly become their new business goal instead of finalizing what we thought was a favorable solution and ultimately allowed their fans to attend the event."
McMahon said he would not rule out bringing WWE back to the Pepsi Center at some point, but it was clear his frustration with Kroenke hadn't subsided.
"It's really unfortunate because if he were just a regular business man and picked up the phone and said, 'Vince, you know, we're throwing you out but I want to make it right, what can we do?' I never heard from Kroenke, I don't know if anyone else has either, by the way, he's somewhat of a Howard Hughes guy I understand," he said.