Amazon has signed a long-term deal to become the naming rights partner to the new arena being built in Seattle that will house the city’s new NHL team and the WNBA’s Seattle Storm.
The arena, which will be called Climate Pledge Arena, is named after ‘The Climate Pledge’, a campaign started in 2019 by Amazon and environmental activist group Global Optimism calling for signatories to be net zero carbon across businesses by 2040.
The facility is currently undergoing a massive redevelopment on the site of the former KeyArena that is expected to cost Oak View Group more than $1 billion. It is currently expected to be completed in the summer of 2021. The NHL team, which does not yet have a name, will launch alongside the 2021-2022 NHL season.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the total value of the deal is likely to be between $300 million and $400 million, which would make it one of the richest arena naming rights deals, according to VenuesNow. The largest naming rights deal currently is between Scotiabank and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment for the arena that houses the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Raptors, among others – that 20-year deal was valued at more than $800 million CAD when it was signed in 2017, or roughly $600 million USD.
Amazon and Oak View Group said there will be significant efforts and investments in making the arena as sustainable as possible, including making it the first net-zero carbon certified arena in the world.
- All-electric operations powered by 100% renewable resources.
- Carbon emissions and sustainability performance will be publicly disclosed.
- Using reclaimed rainwater in the ice system.
- 44-million pound original roof reused in construction.
- At least 75% of the food program will be locally-sourced.
- NHL and WNBA Tickets double as free public transit passes.
- Forming an advisory council to support local environmental initiatives.
“Instead of naming it after Amazon, we’re calling it Climate Pledge Arena as a regular reminder of the importance of fighting climate change,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in a release. “We look forward to working together with Oak View Group, a new Climate Pledge signatory, and NHL Seattle to inspire global climate action.”
The arena will mark the first naming rights deal signed by Amazon – granted it will not include its company name. Amazon Web Services has several league and team level deals, most notably with MLB and Formula One.
Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke added, “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.”