First look at Seattle’s new arena


The Kraken will take home ice for the first time Saturday in an arena marked carbon-free by the International Living Future Institute, meaning it is powered solely by renewable energy sources.
Here is an in-depth look at how a nearly 60-year-old building was reconstructed, reimagined and doubled in size to house Seattle’s first NHL franchise.
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The weight of the roof (in pounds) that was suspended in the air while the building underneath was demolished.
M. A. Mortenson Company was in charge of doubling the size of a 400,000-square-foot space while not disturbing the roof, so crews dug out 600,000 cubic yards of dirt to make room for more seating.
The original building in Seattle Center was constructed for the 1962 World’s Fair. The exterior windows, designated a local landmark in 2017, had to be meticulously removed, cataloged and replaced one by one.
The centerpiece of Seattle’s skyline, the Space Needle, was built alongside the original arena in advance of the space- and science-themed ’62 World’s Fair.
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The number of people who attended the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle.
After the Mets, hockey teams in Seattle went by many monikers. The Totems competed in the Western Hockey League from 1944 to 1974. The Eskimos, Sea Hawks and Olympics also had short runs in the ’30s and ’40s.
The original arena on this site housed the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics for 33 years. If the league ever comes back, Johnsen says Climate Pledge Arena is “totally NBA ready to go.”
The Seattle Storm will also call Climate Pledge Arena home next season. The four-time WNBA champions have played in Seattle Center for 20 of their 22 seasons.
Pipes on the roof of Climate Pledge funnel rainwater into 15,000-gallon underground cisterns. That water is filtered and used to produce game ice that is maintained by electric Zambonis.
Preparations, like ice-making, are currently being made for Seattle’s home opener Saturday, but Coldplay actually will open the venue Friday. “We believe we can do three events in 24 hours,” Leiweke says.
To keep the all-electric arena running, 1.2 megawatts of energy are pumped out of solar panels on the roofs of the main entrance atrium and parking garage across the street. There are eventual plans to build an off-site renewable energy farm.
Fans are encouraged to travel to the arena via the light rail or monorail from downtown to Seattle Center. To ensure carbon-free status, the arena will buy credits to offset transportation emissions out of its control.
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“Just goes to show that if a big arena can do what it can to make as little impact on the environment as possible, it should be easy for each individual.”
—Kraken defenseman Jamie Oleksiak
The Kraken were edged out 4-3 in their inaugural game by the Golden Knights but showed resilience, climbing back from a 3-0 deficit. Forward Ryan Donato scored Seattle's first NHL goal.
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The number of fans who put down deposits for 2021 season tickets the first day they went on sale in March 2018.
Watch the Kraken take on the Vancouver Canucks at Climate Pledge Arena on Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
  • Edited by Tim Kavanagh
  • Produced by ESPN Creative Studio: Michelle Bashaw, Robert Booth, Alecia Hamm, Lori Higginbotham, Sean Hintz, Luke Knox, Joey Maese, Munehito Sawada and Micah Schmidt
  • Visuals by Climate Pledge Arena, Michael Dyrland, DP Drones, Hugh Stratford Photographs, MOHAI, Alfred Rochester Papers, USA TODAY Sports, Getty Images, AP, NBAE