Climate Pledge Arena Receives Certificate of Occupancy

Teams can now move in and prepare for first events

SEATTLE – (October 18, 2021) – Mortenson today announced it has received the Certificate of Occupancy for Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center. Home of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken, WNBA’s Seattle Storm, and the world’s biggest performers of live music and events, Climate Pledge Arena opens October 22, 2021. 

Mortenson wrapped-up construction on the $1.15 billion project on October 15, marking the end of a successful 29-month construction schedule. With this milestone, Climate Pledge Arena’s operations team will move into their new facility and begin preparations for the venue’s first event.  

Climate Pledge Arena at Seattle Center is the complete redevelopment of a historic landmark, originally built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. The redevelopment positions the venue as the premier sports and entertainment destination in the Northwest. Construction of the complex project has been likened to “building a ship in a bottle.” Builders suspended the 44-million-pound roof over the project site, and then dug down 54 feet in order to expand the arena’s footprint. The Mortenson-led project team credits the success to intense team collaboration, top-down construction processes, and digital tools that modeled the construction environment in advance. 

The 800,000 SF, 18,100-seat arena features a completely redesigned interior with new clubs and social spaces, while preserving key elements and the history of the site. Additional highlights include a new atrium, pedestrian plaza, and a premium space that offers views of the event floor, atrium and the iconic Space Needle.  

Climate Pledge Arena aims to be the first net zero certified carbon arena in the world. All the embodied carbon emissions associated with the construction and materials of the project had to be disclosed and offset. The arena is also in line to be the first arena powered only by renewable energy—including both onsite and offsite solar installations—rather than natural gas, which is common and had been used previously. It will run solely on electricity for daily operations. It will also have the first all-electric dehumidification system in the National Hockey League. Ice will be made using rainwater and refrigerants with zero greenhouse gas emissions. Preserving the landmark roof and utilizing a larger subterranean footprint significantly reduced new façade materials needed and reduced the associated greenhouse gas emissions in their supply. 

Climate Pledge Arena serves as a long-lasting and regular reminder of the urgent need for climate action. The Climate Pledge, which was founded by Amazon and Global Optimism in 2019, is a commitment from companies globally to be net zero carbon by 2040.

Greg Huber, Project Executive for Mortenson said, “This project was the ultimate team effort. Successfully completing construction during a global pandemic is a testament to the immense collaboration of the craft and management personnel. Together we overcame fabrication and shipping challenges never before seen in the industry and kept operations going. The team continued to work around the clock to deliver one of the finest arenas in America.” 

Except for a self-imposed two-day stand down that was imperative to plan and subsequently implement site protocols for Covid-19, work on Climate Pledge Arena has been continuous throughout the pandemic. 

The project averaged over $2 million a day of production at peak during construction. Nearly 6,000 individuals contributed to the project’s construction for a total of over 3.8 million hours of work. The project also maintained a leading safety record, demonstrated by a recordable incident rate better than the industry average by more than a half. 

Workforce and business inclusion were at the forefront of building Climate Pledge Arena. The project exceeded small and diverse business goals, with over 20 percent awarded to woman and minority-owned businesses (WMBE), and workforce participation that included 18 percent apprentices, 7.2 percent females, and 29.3 percent minorities.   

“Mortenson and our team members are invested in working with partners like Oak View Group, the Seattle Kraken, Storm, and the City of Seattle to Redefine Possible. Despite unprecedented challenges, we received our certificate of occupancy ahead of schedule and cannot wait to share this world-class project with everyone.” Said Logan Gerken, Mortenson’s vice president and general manager.    

About Mortenson 

Mortenson is a U.S.-based, top-20 builder, developer, and engineering services provider serving the commercial, institutional, and energy sectors. Mortenson’s expanding portfolio of integrated services helps its customers move their strategies forward, ensuring their investments result in high-performing assets. The result is a turnkey partner, fully invested in the business success of its customers. 

Ranked as a top three sports builder by Engineering News-Record for the past 10 years, Mortenson has recently completed several notable professional projects across the country including Allegiant Stadium (NFL Raiders), Chase Center (NBA Golden State Warriors), Allianz Field (MLS Minnesota United FC), Fiserv Forum (NBA Milwaukee Bucks, U.S. Bank Stadium (NFL Minnesota Vikings). 

Founded in 1954, Mortenson has operations across the U.S. with offices in Chicago, Denver, Fargo, Iowa City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.