Seattle Kraken set to hit the ice at Climate Pledge Arena in mid-October

SEATTLE — Climate Pledge Arena is taking shape. You might’ve noticed all the construction happening in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood. Now the folks behind the arena said the end is in sight, with the Seattle Kraken set to play its first home game there in mid-October.

True to its “climate pledge” name, solar panels are installed wherever possible on the arena, including the parking garage.

“I’m very excited — couldn’t be more excited,” said Ken Johnsen, the construction lead behind Climate Pledge Arena.

KIRO 7 got a tour on Monday and saw all the major pieces in place. Crews were putting finishing work on the bowl, such as installing seats.

A major priority is the acoustics at the arena. This is done to make sure the space is ready for big-name artists.

“We’re confident we’re going to be one of the top three in the country for sound quality,” Jensen said.

The ice will be poured in late August or mid-September. When the ice is down, the game capacity is 17,100 people. The ice gets covered for concerts, which can increase the capacity up to 19,000 people.

The first big-name performer will be Eric Church, CMA entertainer of the year, who will perform at Climate Pledge Arena on Oct. 30 as part of his “The Gather Again Tour.”

But crews said with the pandemic, shortages and major supply chain issues, getting to this point has been a massive challenge.

“Material procurement and fabrication tracking has never been more difficult than it has right now. We’ve got more people here on our staff that can track a boat from here to Slovakia to Malaysia to China to wherever it is, and it has been an all-in effort,” said Greg Huber with Mortenson Construction.

“The things you used to be able to count on to get in a week or two weeks or even six weeks, now you can’t even get it. So we’ve had to pivot,” Huber said.

Some of the seats are still on their way. Huber said a retractable platform made in Slovakia is now on a boat, but they’re working on getting it to Seattle.

But despite those obstacles, people involved in the construction said there is no doubt everything will be good to go by mid-October.

“It feels like a miracle that we have gone through this all in the pandemic, and we’re on track, and we’re going to be able to welcome fans here in three months,” said Katie Townsend, also with Mortenson Construction.

Seattle Kraken’s preseason “home” games will be in Spokane, Kent and Everett, with all regular-season home games played at Climate Pledge Arena.