Climate Pledge Arena ready to get Kraken for hockey debut

SEATTLE, -- The Climate Pledge Arena's first event -- regardless of whether it is the official first -- was far from soft opening.

Climate Pledge Arena ready to get Kraken for hockey debut

SEATTLE, -- The Climate Pledge Arena's first event -- regardless of whether it is the official first -- was far from soft opening.

Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke joked that Dave Grohl had said he was going down the building. This came just 12 hours after Foo Fighters had christened it. "He was close, he took 2 1/2 hours to do it. I believe he was serious."

The Seattle Kraken's home has survived the rock star screams once and is now ready to host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night. The arena will host Coldplay Friday night before the NHL's first home game.

These events, which started with Tuesday's benefit show featuring Foo Fighters, are the culmination a five-year-old process. The city of Seattle selected Oak View Group to renovate KeyArena, the former home of the Seattle SuperSonics.

The original goal was to make it a $600,000. The price tag for the Kraken's first game will exceed $1 billion. It now features premium seating, exclusive clubs, and the first three-sided dual scoreboard system.

The arena is also powered by electricity from solar panels. It will also use recycled rain water to make its ice and has a living wall with vegetation on one concourse.

It also solved a long-running struggle to find an arena suitable for concerts and pro sports. It will be home to the WNBA's Storm, and maybe someday the NBA.

Leiweke stated that they are very happy with what they have done for Seattle in this moment-of-truth.

Wednesday saw some finishing touches being applied throughout the building, including cleaning out the tunnel suites leading from the NHL locker room to the ice and some concession areas where equipment was delayed because of shipping issues.

The Kraken locker room was complete, with the logo of the team on the ceiling. After Seattle's first week on the road, the equipment crew still had to set it up.

Ken Johnsen was the chief construction executive responsible for the arena's construction. He said that shipping delays caused some anxiety in the final months of the project. COVID-19 problems and a backlog at ports across the United States made it difficult for risers from Slovakia to arrive in time to be used in retractable seating in the lower section of the arena.

Johnsen stated that they sometimes had to use air freight to deliver the materials on time.

Johnsen stated, "If you didn't pay attention to things very carefully, this chair might be in Long Beach." "So I would argue that we started before July, focusing on what was coming, where it is, are we going have a supply chain issue, and I'm proud to say that we didn't."

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