History is coming to Seattle, Washington.

For the first time ever, KeyArena (former home to the Seattle SuperSonics, Seattle Storm and minor league hockey’s Seattle Thunderbirds) will be transformed and renamed into the first zero-carbon arena powered by exclusively renewable energy.

Just last week, NHL Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke told The Seattle Times that both the name unveiling and reopening of KeyArena have been delayed. One week later, the arena has a new partnership and a new name.

The former KeyArena will now be named Climate Pledge Arena, and be home to the WNBA's Seattle Storm and the future NHL Seattle team.

The partnership is between Oak View Group, NHL Seattle and Amazon.

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According to NHL Seattle: The partnership was formed to make the Climate Pledge Arena the first zero-carbon arena in the world, powered exclusively by renewable energy including both on-site and offsite solar rather than the widespread standard use of natural gas in arenas and stadiums. The arena will run solely on electric for daily operations, eliminating all fossil fuels from the building and installing the first all-electric dehumidification systems in the National Hockey League. 

Our goal is to make sure every visit to this arena will be enjoyable and memorable, and sustainability is a large part of that. It is not just about one arena, it's the platform. We challenge music, facilities, concert tours and sports. It is our time to step up to face the challenge of our generation. We must take steps to build arenas and stadiums that front-and-center align with our zero-carbon mission statement. — Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group and leader of the arena project.

 

Here is what you can expect from the upgrades:

- The first arena to ban single-use plastics and commit to functional zero waste. Fans will see only compost and recycling bins, no trash cans.  

- The first arena to fully offset the carbon emissions of all events and related transportation by fans, sports teams and entertainers, achieving carbon-neutral operations and use.  

- The lowest embodied carbon arena in the world; saving the landmark roof and the new arena's subterranean footprint significantly reduces façade materials needed and the associated greenhouse gas emissions.  

- The greenest ice in the world using rainwater, refrigerants with zero greenhouse gas emissions and electric Zambonis.  

- The largest coordinated effort of fan engagement with climate issues of any NHL team.  

Read more from the press release here.

There will be many opportunities for our fans to make a difference nightly. We will now look to involve our fans and the community to continue to help teach the world. Fans someday will demand more of these types of buildings. It is challenging and expensive but a small step out of the way relative to the issue of sustainability and global climate change. — Tod Leiweke