SEATTLE — It'll be done in October -- that was one of the key takeaways during a tour of the billion-dollar Climate Pledge Arena project at Seattle Center.
On Monday, Oak View Group Project executive Ken Johnsen led a handful of reporters and photographers through the soon-to-be-completed 800,000-square-foot facility on the old KeyArena site.
Many of the 17,100 seats for hockey have already been installed, as well as the lapendary baffles, also known as acoustic panels that hang from the old ceiling. The Alaska Airlines Atrium also figures prominently on the south side of the building, giving it, along with the former KeyArena translucent panels, the image of a glass palace at the base of the Space Needle.
Construction workers have braved the pandemic to complete the project, which is set to host the NHL's Seattle Kraken and WNBA's Seattle Storm, in addition to multiple concerts that have already been announced.
Crews could also be seen Monday installing solar panels on the top of the atrium, which will be used to partially power the building. Other solar panels will be installed on the old parking garage on the street. There is also a rainwater collection system on the northwest corner of the building.
The biggest question now, after months of construction, is whether the building will be ready for the Kraken season opener. Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke said last month it will be ready.
The NHL is set to release the 2021-22 schedule this month, perhaps before the NHL Draft on July 23. The Kraken announced last week that it will play pre-season games on the road. There is a chance that the team could begin the season away from Climate Pledge Arena to allow for a special grand opening celebration at the building that has been years in the making.
The Kraken's expansion draft is on July 21, when the franchise, and fans, will know most of the players for the inaugural season at the Arena.