The countdown has begun. In less than 11 months, the NHL’s Seattle Kraken will finally take center ice.
The Kraken will play in Climate Pledge Arena, a re-imagining of Seattle’s legendary Key Arena, when the first puck drops in 2021.
As the NHL’s 32nd franchise anxiously awaits the start of its inaugural year, there’s a lot of work underway at Seattle center with the 800,000 square foot space.
Seattle Kraken Senior Vice President Bill Chapin recently took KING 5 on a virtual reality tour of the team’s future home and in living color. The sneak preview showcases the 3-sided scoreboards, the Kraken’s bench, intimate seating, center ice, and of course views of the Space Needle.
Kraken fans won’t want to miss this sneak peek.
"We think it’s going to be the most beautiful arena in North America, and you can tell that now," Chapin told KING 5.
Up until now, the VR tour, visible using Oculus Quest glasses, have been reserved for potential clients and stakeholders.
While Kraken fans will have to wait a little longer for the “real world,” experience, some tangibles are already arriving at the Kraken’s new home. On Wednesday, nearly two years after the NFL announced Seattle as its 32nd expansion franchise, the Climate Pledge Arena sign arrived for installation.
Amazon bought the naming rights to the venue that was formerly known as Key Arena and dubbed it “Climate Pledge Arena,” to remind people of the “urgent need for climate action,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in an Instagram post.
The arena will serve as the first net-zero carbon certified arena in the world, generate zero waste from operations and used reclaimed rainwater to produce the “greenest” ice in the NHL, per Bezos.
The Kraken remain focused on a Fall 2021 opening date, but in the midst of the global pandemic, there’s a lot of questions around whether the construction will be finished on time, let alone whether fans will actually be able to attend games at Climate Pledge Arena next year.
The league is currently targeting a delayed start to Jan. 1 for its 2020-21 season. NHL owners have also discussed the possibility of permanently shifting the NHL schedule to a Dec. through July timeframe. This could benefit the Kraken if the Climate Pledge Arena construction runs behind schedule in 2021.
For now, it’s full steam ahead on an October-November 2021 target date for Seattle’s NHL team to get Kraken on the ice.