The NHL’s latest expansion team, which landed in Seattle, WA about a year and a half ago has a new name for its arena, even though they still haven’t come up with a name. At least, if it has, it hasn’t been willing to share it with the rest of the world. In the meantime, though, the main entity behind the still-as-yet-to-be-named-at-some-point expansion team’s primary support, the Oak View Group (OVG), has been busy putting together some partnerships.
One of the first, which was inked last December, found the team’s stadium connecting with a casino company as the “official” casino partner. OVG has now decided to go a different route with the venue, changing its name from Seattle Center after reaching a new pact with the largest eCommerce retailer in the world – Amazon.
The Seattle Center Gets A New NHL Arena Name
Going forward, the Seattle Center will now be known as the Climate Pledge Arena, thanks to the partnership with Amazon and the company’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos. The goal is for the stadium to become the first net zero carbon certified arena anywhere, and push other stadiums and sports facilities around the world to follow suit. It has a long road ahead.
While Seattle might be a good location for something that wants to reduce its carbon footprint, trying to start a worldwide movement to campaign for change is a monumental task. However, if anyone can do it, it’s Bezos. With a net worth of over $162 billion, listed as the richest man in the world by Forbes, he has the money to burn.
Bezos explains in a press release about the new NHL partnership and arena name in Seattle, “We’ve secured naming rights to the historic arena previously known as KeyArena. Instead of naming it after Amazon, we’re calling it Climate Pledge Arena as a regular reminder of the importance of fighting climate change. We look forward to working together with Oak View Group, a new Climate Pledge signatory, and NHL Seattle to inspire global climate action.”
What Being Net Zero Carbon Certified Means
Amazon got behind an initiative, also called The Climate Pledge, last year. Its goal is to work with businesses around the world to be net zero carbon by 2040, which won’t be easy. All aspects of a business have to be certified planet-friendly, and the Seattle stadium is working on a number of plans to achieve the certification.
Climate Pledge Arena will be powered solely by renewable electricity using a combination of on-site solar and off-site renewables. Events held at the facilities will be considered net zero through efforts that will see investments made in forestry projects that are designed to offset the carbon emissions at the stadium. All emissions, as well as the sustainability performance, of the venue will be measured and the data shared publicly.
There won’t be any waste at the stadium, either. Durable and compostable containers are being installed, and at least 95% of all arena waste will be sent to landfills “on a weight basis.” Rainwater will be reclaimed for use in making the ice for the rink, resulting in the “greenest” skating rink in the NHL.
With over 200 events expected to be held annually at Climate Pledge Arena, there is a lot that won’t be known until the systems are put to the test. In addition to being the new arena for the Seattle NHL expansion team, the Seattle Storm of the WNBA will play there, and there will be as many live entertainment festivities as possible organized throughout the year.
Adds OVG CEO Tim Leiweke, who fought hard to bring a NHL team to Seattle and the new arena, “There is no question that the state of our planet is a critical issue for all of us. We have a responsibility to future generations to try to leave them with a better world. We love that Amazon is using its naming rights for a cause we care deeply about—this partnership is a visionary step for the facilities business and sport and music industries. Our goal is to be the most progressive, responsible, and sustainable venue in the world. It is not just about one arena—it’s a platform for us to step up and heal our planet.”