Amazon bought the naming rights to the former KeyArena, which will host a new NHL hockey team and the Storm, and will call the facility Climate Pledge Arena. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Amazon bought the naming rights to the former KeyArena, which will host a new NHL hockey team and the Storm, and will call the facility Climate Pledge Arena. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

New Seattle hockey venue to be named Climate Pledge Arena

Amazon purchases the naming rights for the former KeyArena and puts the focus on its climate-change message.

By Joseph Pisani / Associated Press

NEW YORK — Amazon is bringing its climate-change message to a new arena. Literally.

The company, eager to prove that it’s working to combat climate change, is paying to name the new Seattle hockey stadium Climate Pledge Arena. The new moniker is meant to recall The Climate Pledge, an initiative Amazon launched last year to push other companies to join it in being carbon neutral by 2040. The venue was previously called KeyArena and is in the midst of a major renovation.

Companies typically pay millions to name stadiums after themselves. But Amazon said its name and logo won’t appear outside the arena.

“Instead of calling it Amazon Arena, we’re naming it Climate Pledge Arena as a regular reminder of the urgent need for climate action,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO and founder, in an Instagram post.

A rendering for the arena, set to open next year, has Climate Pledge at the top in green. The word Arena is underneath in smaller blue letters. Amazon didn’t disclose how much it’s paying for the naming rights, but said it will last at least a decade.

Asked if there was better way to use its money, Amazon’s head of sustainability Kara Hurst said the company invests heavily on other climate-related projects. “It isn’t the only thing we’re doing,” she said.

The online shopping behemoth, which ships billions of items around the world on planes and trucks that guzzle gas, has been trying to highlight its greener side after employees criticized the company for not doing enough to combat climate change.

The company is using more solar and wind energy to power its businesses and ordered 100,000 electric vans that will start delivering packages next year. This week, it said it would spend $2 billion to fund companies or technologies that could help fight climate change.

Nonetheless, Amazon’s carbon footprint has gotten bigger. It rose 15% last year from the year before and its emissions from fossil fuels rose 18%. Amazon, however, said emissions for every item it sold fell 5%.

Amazon hopes the new name will spread the word about The Climate Pledge. And the more than 18,000 people who cram into the arena to watch a game will get a sustainability lesson at the same time.

Trash cans will be replaced with recycling bins and uneaten snacks will be composted. Natural gas is gone from the arena and replaced with electricity. Reclaimed rainwater will be used for the ice, which Amazon proclaimed in a press release makes it the “greenest ice in the NHL.”

The arena, which will be home to Seattle’s yet-to-be-named hockey team, is being completely rebuilt underneath KeyArena’s iconic slanted roof that received historical landmark status and can’t be altered as part of the construction. It will also be the home for the Seattle Storm of the WNBA and will host concerts and other events. Built on the site of the original Seattle Center Coliseum that was opened for the 1962 World’s Fair, it is near the Space Needle and a 20 minute walk to Amazon’s headquarters.

It’s the first time Amazon has bought naming rights for a major venue. But a theater in Las Vegas, where pop icon Britney Spears had a long-running residency, is named after Amazon-owned online shoe seller Zappos.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Most fall sports at Everett CC, Edmonds moved to spring

In an announcement, the NWAC also announced a delay to the men’s and women’s basketball season.

WIAA delays start of fall high school sports season

Football practices are now scheduled to start Sept. 5 and all other fall sports will begin Sept. 7.

90th Snohomish County Amateur golf tournament canceled

The annual event had been postponed, but now won’t be played for the first time since 1931.

Arlington thrower Julia Parra

The standout track and field athlete will continue her career at WSU while studying medicine.

Darrington baseball player Brevin Ross

The shortstop/catcher played five years of varsity baseball and also starred on the basketball team.

Meadowdale softball player Kate Houghton

The standout pitcher will play college softball at Central Connecticut State University.

Community sports roundup: SnoCo Sports HoF banquet canceled

Plus, Snohomish County FC adds a women’s team, the Snohomish Soccer Dome gets new management and more.

Shorewood alum Snell issues apology for part of rant

The Rays pitcher says he wishes he had not said, “I’m not playing unless I get mine.”

Mariners begin ‘summer camp’ at T-Mobile Park

But the workouts look a whole lot different amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Prep notebook: Kamiak hires new boys wrestling coach

Plus, a Meadowdale junior gets picked for the WIAA LEAP Committee.

Marysville Pilchuck soccer player Edgar Martinez

Standout defender also kicked for the football team and shares a name with a Seattle Mariners icon.

What’s next for Mariners’ minor-leaguers?

The the minor-league season canceled, most young players will be left to work out on their own.