Climate Pledge Arena

Seattle, United States

  • Typologies

    Arenas

  • Building Activities

    Basketball, Concerts, Conferences & Expos, Hockey

  • Services

    Architecture, Brand Activation, Wayfinding, Landscape Architecture, Interior Design

  • Completion

    2021

CHALLENGE. Climate Pledge Arena is the result of a bold undertaking many believed would never materialize. When the City of Seattle set out to reimagine and redevelop the historic landmark originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair, Populous flipped the traditional arena model on its head to create a first-of-its-kind arena.

Climate Pledge Arena is the region’s largest arena — an entirely new venue built under an existing roof — that revitalizes a historic landmark and cultivates the ultimate experience for fans of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken, WNBA’s Seattle Storm, concerts and other events. With Amazon as the arena’s naming rights partner, Populous transformed its sustainable design approach to meet The Climate Pledge, a global initiative that commits signatories to net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040. Climate Pledge Arena is poised to become the world’s first arena to earn a net zero carbon certification from the International Living Future Institute.

Click to download our Climate Pledge Arena Fact Sheet.

INNOVATION. Climate Pledge Arena is quite literally an arena in a park, something unheard of for a large public assembly venue, let alone one set in an urban neighborhood. The arena honors its original design intent while activating and enhancing a pedestrian-focused plan, giving the site back to the Seattle Center campus and serving as open public space for the neighboring community.

Populous has designed the most beautiful arena in the world, and the Kraken are proud to call it home. We’re excited for fans to walk into Climate Pledge Arena on game day and be blown away by its beauty and have a first-class experience while cheering on their favorite players.

Tod Leiweke / CEO of the Seattle Kraken

The new construction required the 44-million-pound roof to be lifted and suspended above the site while another 680,000 cubic yards of soil were removed underneath to nearly double the size of the former venue and create 360-degree pedestrian access. The beautiful curtain walls of glass were also restored, making Climate Pledge Arena the first in North America where someone can walk entirely around the facility while never losing sight of what’s inside.

The new venue pushes the boundaries on other visual aspects as well. Unlike other arena video displays, Climate Pledge Arena boasts the world’s first dual suspended professional arena scoreboards. Behind this signature design lies a thorough analysis of on-ice and on-court action for hockey and basketball, spectator and athlete sightlines, and flexibility for shows and concerts. This placement bolsters the fan experience and connects the audience to the action of faceoffs, free throws and inbounding plays. There are 59 luxury suites, 19 of which are tunnel club suites situated under the seating bowl, giving fans a close-up view of the players as they walk from the locker room to the ice or court.

The arena is also designed to employ numerous sustainable practices and operations. The facility is powered solely on renewable energy sources, including on-site solar energy on the atrium roof. The site design builds strong connections with the monorail and provides space for electric vehicle charging stations and bike valet services. The design also supports water conservation systems — such as harvesting rainwater from the roof to turn it into the greenest ice in the NHL — and zero waste initiatives. The venue also is home to a 200-foot living wall with greenery hanging overhead and an LED wall that details the importance of developing a zero carbon arena.

IMPACT. Climate Pledge Arena is one of the Pacific Northwest’s most significant private investments in sports and entertainment history. The Populous design challenges the status quo to create a functional and iconic arena from the videoboards to the expansive, universally accessible outdoor plaza. It also contributes to a critical movement within the industry to transition the built environment from a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions to a central solution to the climate crisis. These sustainable design strategies and ambitious targets set a new bar for the global sports and events industry.

All images by Climate Pledge Arena.

Facts and Figures
Hockey game capacity
17,200
Basketball game capacity
18,200
Concert capacity
18,600
Square feet
740,000
Preserved roofing material conserved
22,000 tons
London Plane legacy trees preserved
67
Earth excavated to be reused in nearby communities
975,000 tons
Project Team
Connect with the designers

Chris Carver

Kurt Amundsen

Geoff Cheong

Todd Spangler

Kelly Furlong Holton

Chris Minter