Climate Pledge Arena ready to get Kraken for hockey debut

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • The roof-top sign for Climate Pledge Arena is shown next to the Space Needle, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new.

    The roof-top sign for Climate Pledge Arena is shown next to the Space Needle, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. Associated Press

  • The floor and seating areas of Climate Pledge Arena are shown Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the arena, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new.

    The floor and seating areas of Climate Pledge Arena are shown Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the arena, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. Associated Press

  • A worker puts the final touches on woodwork in the Seattle Kraken's locker room at Climate Pledge Arena, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey team's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new.

    A worker puts the final touches on woodwork in the Seattle Kraken's locker room at Climate Pledge Arena, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey team's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. Associated Press

  • A worker checks the stock of a club-level bar inside Climate Pledge Arena, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new.

    A worker checks the stock of a club-level bar inside Climate Pledge Arena, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. Associated Press

  • Photographers film the "living wall" inside Climate Pledge Arena, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new.

    Photographers film the "living wall" inside Climate Pledge Arena, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. Associated Press

  • The floor and seating areas of Climate Pledge Arena are shown Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new.

    The floor and seating areas of Climate Pledge Arena are shown Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. Associated Press

  • The Lair, the Seattle Kraken team store inside Climate Pledge Arena, is shown Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey team's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new.

    The Lair, the Seattle Kraken team store inside Climate Pledge Arena, is shown Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey team's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. Associated Press

  • A sign inside Climate Pledge Arena is shown Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new.

    A sign inside Climate Pledge Arena is shown Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. Associated Press

  • A sign inside Climate Pledge Arena displays beverage and snack prices, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new.

    A sign inside Climate Pledge Arena displays beverage and snack prices, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. Associated Press

  • The glass atrium entrance area inside Climate Pledge Arena, is shown Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new.

    The glass atrium entrance area inside Climate Pledge Arena, is shown Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. Associated Press

  • Solar panels on the top level of a parking garage across the street from Climate Pledge Arena are shown Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena (through trees at left) was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new.

    Solar panels on the top level of a parking garage across the street from Climate Pledge Arena are shown Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena (through trees at left) was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. Associated Press

  • A "Just Walk Out" technology-enabled store is shown inside Climate Pledge Arena, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. The technology-enabled store allows fans to insert a credit card or use their Amazon One device at the location's entry gates to shop for snacks and then just walk away as their purchases are automatically tabulated.

    A "Just Walk Out" technology-enabled store is shown inside Climate Pledge Arena, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. The technology-enabled store allows fans to insert a credit card or use their Amazon One device at the location's entry gates to shop for snacks and then just walk away as their purchases are automatically tabulated. Associated Press

  • The sun shines above Climate Pledge Arena, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new.

    The sun shines above Climate Pledge Arena, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. Associated Press

  • A seating area in one of the many suites inside Climate Pledge Arena is shown, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new.

    A seating area in one of the many suites inside Climate Pledge Arena is shown, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, during a media tour ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. Associated Press

  • The glass atrium entrance to Climate Pledge Arena is shown Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new.

    The glass atrium entrance to Climate Pledge Arena is shown Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, ahead of the NHL hockey Seattle Kraken's home opener Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks in Seattle. The historic angled roof of the former KeyArena was preserved, but everything else inside the venue, which will also host concerts and be the home of the WNBA Seattle Storm basketball team, is brand new. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 10/20/2021 5:25 PM

SEATTLE -- The first event ever inside Climate Pledge Arena - whether it will be considered the official first event or not - was far from a soft opening.

'Dave Grohl said he was going to tear the building down,' joked Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke on Wednesday, barely 12 hours after Foo Fighters christened the new facility. 'He came close, at 2 ½ hours I think he was intent.'

 

The home of the Seattle Kraken survived the screams and guitars of rock stars once this week and seems ready for its hockey debut on Saturday night when the Kraken host the Vancouver Canucks. Before the first home game for the NHL's newest franchise, the arena will have 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 started nearly five years ago when Oak View Group was selected by the city of Seattle to renovate what had been known as KeyArena when it was home to the Seattle SuperSonics of the NBA.

It was originally earmarked as a $600,000 project. When the doors open for the first Kraken game, the price tag will have topped $1 billion, with the facility now featuring plush premium seating sections, exclusive clubs and the first three-sided dual scoreboard system.

The arena also is running off electricity generated in part by solar panels, will use recycled rain water for its icemaking and has a living wall of vegetation on one of the concourses.

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The building also resolved a long struggle to find a suitable arena for pro sports and concerts. It will also be home to the WNBA's Storm and perhaps someday the NBA once again.

'We're very pleased on what we have created for Seattle in this moment of truth,' Leiweke said.

Some finishing touches were being applied all over the building Wednesday, from cleaning in the tunnel suites that lead from the NHL locker rooms to the ice, to some of the concession areas that had equipment delayed due to shipping issues.

The Kraken locker room was done, complete with the team's logo on the ceiling. But it still needed to be set up by the team's equipment staff after Seattle spent the first week of the regular season on the road.

Ken Johnsen, the construction executive who oversaw the arena project, said shipping delays created a little apprehension in the closing months of the project. For example, COVID-19 issues and a backlog of ships waiting to unload cargo at various ports around the United States delayed the arrival of risers manufactured in Slovakia to be used for retractable seating in the lower bowl of the arena.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Johnsen said they had to use air freight in some instances to get the materials on time.

'If you weren't watching things really carefully, this (chair) might be in a container in Long Beach,' Johnsen said. 'So I would say we really started even before July focusing on what's coming, where is it, are we going to have a supply chain problem, and I'm really proud that we didn't.'

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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