New Seattle NHL venue vows to be first zero-carbon arena


Los Angeles (AFP)

Seattle's National Hockey League expansion team will play in the world's first carbon-neutral arena, club officials said Thursday in announcing the new venue will be named Climate Pledge Arena.

The team, which has not announced a nickname, is set to begin play in the 2021-22 NHL campaign in a new arena constructed under the same roof used by the city's former NBA club.

Amazon bought the naming rights to the venue and selected the climate branding for an arena that will be exclusively powered by renewable energy, on-site and off-site solar power used instead of natural gas.

Electricity will power daily operations, including the NHL's first all-electric dehumidifying system, eliminating all fossil fuels from the building.

"Our goal is to make sure every visit to this arena will be enjoyable and memorable and sustainability is a large part of that," said arena project leader Tim Leiweke, whose younger brother Tod is president and chief executive of Seattle's NHL club.

"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."

The arena has banned single-use plastic bottles by 2024 and committed to generating zero waste, with only compost and recycling bins for fans, not trash cans.

The rink promises the greenest ice in the world, using rainwater, refrigerants without greenhouse gas emissions and electric-powered Zamboni ice resurfacing machines.

The team will contribute to Amazon's Climate Pledge initiative, motivating companies to reach zebo-carbon emissions by 2040.

The arena will use local-source beer, wine and food, with plans for aluminum or bio-degradable bottles by 2024.

"There will be many opportunities for our fans to make a difference nightly," said Tod Leiweke. "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."