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Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena makes history

Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena makes history

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The venue is expected to be the first net-zero carbon certified arena in the world.

Climate Pledge Arena officially opened its doors on Friday, October 22 with a performance by Coldplay, appearances by special guests, and a series of special events throughout the weekend.

In June 2020, when Amazon announced that the company secured the naming rights to the iconic Seattle arena—home of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken and WNBA’s Seattle Storm. Amazon decided to name it Climate Pledge Arena, in honor of The Climate Pledge, a commitment co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism in 2019. The Pledge is a rallying call for action—for companies and other organizations to commit to net-zero carbon by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement.

The opening is historic, as Climate Pledge Arena aims to set a new sustainability bar for the sports and events industry, and we hope others are inspired to join us in the ongoing fight against climate change.

Building a net-zero carbon certified stadium

The project began in early 2017, when the City of Seattle issued a request for proposal to redevelop the historic arena at Seattle Center and entered into an agreement with Oak View Group. Over the past three years, designed by Populous and Rockwell Group and under the guidance of Mortenson, engineering and construction firsts have been achieved. The 44 million pound roof was held up by temporary steel columns while the brand new arena was constructed underneath, doubling the square footage.

With a significant investment from Amazon and Oak View Group, Climate Pledge Arena is expected to be the first net-zero carbon certified arena in the world and set a new sustainability bar for the sports and events industry. The all-electric operations will be powered by 100% renewable electricity—from on-site solar panels and off-site renewable energy. The stadium will use reclaimed rainwater stored in the ice system, a concept called “Rain to Rink,” to create the greenest ice in the NHL. The original 44-million-pound roof from the previous KeyArena was reused in the construction—to significantly reduce the embodied carbon of the building. The arena’s food program will be led by executive chef Molly DeMers and will be sourced locally and seasonally to support regional farmers and producers; all viable unused food from events will be donated to local community food programs.

Using technology to create a fast, convenient and contactless experience for guests

In four stores throughout Climate Pledge Arena, Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One will be used to make the in-arena food and beverage experience more efficient and cut wait times, so guests can get back to the game or performance faster.

Amazon One is a fast, convenient, contactless way for people to use their palm to make everyday activities more effortless. The service is designed to be highly secure and uses custom-built algorithms and hardware to create a person’s unique palm signature.

Guests will be able to visit four Just Walk Out-enabled stores inside Climate Pledge Arena to purchase food and drinks without stopping to checkout. All they need to do is insert their credit card at the location’s entry gates to shop, or hover their palm over an Amazon One device to enter. Once inside, guests can take what they want and then just leave after they’re done shopping. As they shop, Just Walk Out technology determines what they take from—or return to—the shelves, and the credit card they inserted or linked to their Amazon One ID will be charged for items they took after they leave the store. If a guest is new to using the Amazon One palm recognition service, they can enroll in less than a minute at any of the Amazon One enrollment kiosks located near the Just Walk Out technology-enabled stores on the arena’s main and upper concourses.

Supporting local residents and organizations

Seattle Kraken and Storm tickets will also double as free public transit passes to promote public transportation use for attendees, including the use of the refurbished Seattle Monorail.

One Roof Foundation and Climate Pledge Arena—in collaboration with Amazon—are providing $500,000 in funding to nonprofits in the Seattle area to advance environmental justice and positive social change. The nonprofits largely represent Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities and underserved areas.

In recognition of their incredible work, the 2021 grant award winners include:

  •  Bike Works, a South Seattle-based nonprofit that makes bicycling accessible and affordable to help empower youth and address climate change.
  •  Earthlab, a University of Washington initiative pushing boundaries and developing innovative, just, and equitable solutions to environmental challenges.
  •  Chief Seattle Club’s Sovereignty Farm project, a seed-to-table social enterprise that provides ways for Indigenous elders, apprentices, artisans, and farmers to grow Native foods and focus on land stewardship and food sovereignty.
  •  Duwamish River Clean Up Coalition, a community-based nonprofit representing the residents of the Duwamish Valley region of South Seattle. The group is focused on increasing youth engagement and education, supporting placemaking and placekeeping, improving air quality and respiratory health, and combatting the hyper-local impacts of climate change.
  •  Lake City Collective, a grassroots, volunteer-run nonprofit advocating for a clean and safe environment for the families and youth from diverse communities in Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood.
  •  Seattle Parks Foundation, a nonprofit partner to Seattle Parks and Recreation that brings people together to create a thriving, accessible, and connected system of public space for all people.
  •  Spark Northwest, which partners with communities to build an equitable clean-energy future for all.
  •  Transportation Choices, a policy and advocacy nonprofit dedicated to making transportation accessible to all in Washington state.