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Amazon Buys Naming Rights For World's First Arena Targeting Net Zero Carbon Certification

A rendering of the newly renamed Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle.

Amazon has bought the naming rights to Seattle’s KeyArena and is rechristening the venue Climate Pledge Arena.

The 18,100-seat arena at Seattle Center in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood is undergoing a $900M-plus reconstruction. With significant investment from Amazon and developer Oak View Group, it is expected to be the first net zero carbon-certified arena in the world.

“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,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

Climate Pledge Arena will be the first arena in the world to target net zero carbon certification by the International Living Future Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing sustainable building practices. The arena is slated to open in late summer 2021.

The arena is planned to have 100% renewable electricity, and events will be made fully net zero carbon through investments in forestry projects with partner organizations. Carbon emissions and sustainability performance of the arena and all events will be measured and publicly disclosed.

Amazon and environmental activist group Global Optimism co-founded The Climate Pledge in 2019, which calls on signatories to be net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement. In partnering with Amazon, Oak View Group is a new signatory of the pledge. 

The renovation taking place at the renamed Climate Pledge Arena will double the square footage of the original building, from 400K SF to 800K SF. The building will have a 17,400-person capacity for National Hockey League games and an 18,600-person capacity for Women's National Basketball Association games, with the arena expected to host more than 140 events per year.

Mortenson took over as general contractor from Skanska-Hunt in late 2018, a decision the companies attributed to market challenges and timing changes.