Climate Pledge Arena set to welcome Kraken for hockey debut
The first event ever to be held inside the Climate Pledge Arena – whether or not it was considered the first official event – was far from a smooth opening.
“Dave Grohl said he was going to demolish the building,” Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke joked Wednesday, just 12 hours after Foo Fighters named the new facility. “He approached, at half past two, I think he was intentional.”
The Seattle Kraken home has survived the screams and guitars of rock stars once this week and looks set for its hockey debut on Saturday night when the Kraken host the Vancouver Canucks. Ahead of the first home game of the most recent NHL franchise, the arena will hold its first official event Friday night when Coldplay performs there.
The week’s events – which began with Tuesday night’s benefit show featuring Foo Fighters – are the culmination of a process that began nearly five years ago when Oak View Group was selected by the city of Seattle to renovate what was known as KeyArena when it was home. to the Seattle SuperSonics in the NBA.
CEO Tod Leiweke is ready for fans to see Climate Pledge Arena
It was originally planned as a $ 600,000 project. When the doors open for the first Kraken game, the price will have surpassed $ 1 billion, with the facility now including plush premium seating sections, exclusive clubs and the world’s first three-way dual dash system. sides.
The arena also uses electricity produced in part by solar panels, will use recycled rainwater for its ice making and has a living green wall on one of the halls.
The building resolved a long struggle to find a suitable arena for professional sports and concerts. It will also be home to the WNBA’s Seattle Storm and possibly the NBA one day again.
âWe are very happy with what we have created for Seattle at this moment of truth,â said Leiweke.
On Wednesday, finishing touches were made throughout the building, from cleaning the tunnels that lead from NHL locker rooms to the ice, to some franchise areas where equipment was delayed due to shipping issues.
Seattle Kraken News from 710 ESPN Seattle
The Kraken locker room was finished, with the team logo on the ceiling. But it still had to be put together by the team’s equipment staff after Seattle spent the first week of the regular season on the road.
Ken Johnsen, the construction manager who oversaw the arena project, said shipping delays created a little apprehension in the final months of the project. For example, COVID-19 issues and a backlog of ships waiting to unload cargo at various ports across the United States have delayed the arrival of Slovak-made risers for use as retractable seats in the lower bowl of the arena.
Johnsen said they have to use air freight in some cases to get the materials on time.
âIf you weren’t watching things very carefully, this (chair) could be in a container in Long Beach,â Johnsen said. âSo I would say we really started before even July focusing on what’s coming up, where is it going, are we going to have a supply chain problem, and I’m really proud that we don’t. have not done. “
Photos: Climate Pledge Arena at night