An employee looks back at over 30 years of the building that became Climate Pledge Arena

Climate Pledge Arena didn’t always look the way it does now. In fact, it began as the Coliseum; then construction began in the early 1990s to transform it into Key Arena and, finally, Climate Pledge Arena.

Not many people have been around for all of the construction and changes. However, we were able to track down one guest services representative who had seen it all.

Meet Janet Luttrell. She first started working as a guest services representative in 1993 at the Coliseum.

“My first event was a Sonics game,” she said.

Within her first year, the Coliseum underwent construction and reopened in 1995 as Key Arena.

“At that time, we didn’t have suites in the Coliseum and the Key Arena, we had suites, and we had a lower event level and upper level and main level,” Luttrell said. “My first event was a Sonics game, and the rest is history on that one.” She was also there when the Seattle Storm arrived in the Emerald City.

“Sue Bird. I saw her from season one to I saw her retirement jersey go up,” Luttrell said.

She said the energy for the Storm and especially the Sonics was electric.

“When we were winning we had a full house, we had a very full house,” she said.

Luttrell said she still has people come up to her who recognize her from Sonics games.

“I still have kids come up and say you were in my section when I was 10!” she exclaimed. “One of the gals, little gals, she was about six years old and she’s in her late twenties now and she came down to say hello one day, it was wonderful.” However, in 2008, heartbreak hit and the Sonics left Seattle.

“We had Kevin Durant and all these other players and people just didn’t come because we were losing and we were losing them also,” she said.

It wasn’t until another reconstruction of the arena that was completed in 2022, that things began to look up again.

Climate Pledge Arena opened and ushered back in professional hockey.

“The first event I worked, the Foo Fighters, when I went to go home I couldn’t figure out where to go to get out of here,” she said.

Three things remain at the arena, the roof, the windows and Luttrell.

“I’ve seen it all,” she said.