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  • Writer's pictureMarc Viquez

Climate Pledge Arena – Seattle Storm


Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.29

Climate Pledge Arena 334 1st Avenue North Seattle, WA 98109


Year Opened: 1962 Capacity: 13,500

 

Storm Season Hits the Climate Pledge Arena


The Climate Pledge Arena is a brand new building, not quite. The $1.5 billion redevelopment has transformed it into a state-of-the-art and one of the most highly sustainable sports facilities in the nation. The changes to the infrastructure have made attending a Seattle Storm game quite an experience in the WNBA.


The arena opened in 1962 as part of the World’s Fair and featured a distinctive tent-like roof that is still prominently displayed today. The building would be known as the Seattle Civic Coliseum (1964-1994), and after the first major renovations, the Key Arena (1995-2018).


The Storm would debut in 2000 and adopt the colors of their former NBA tenant, the Seattle Super Sonics of green and gold. Sadly, the Sonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008, and the ladies have been the only source of professional basketball in town but have captured four WNBA championships. Also, having legendary players Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird helped promote the Storm brand; both have their numbers retired in the rafters.




Food & Beverage 5

The food and beverage options at Climate Pledge Arena up the ante on the typical stadium food and combine local flavors from a series of Seattle-area restaurants. The combination offers fans a unique look at items such as pizza, burgers, and corndogs.


All of the food and beverage options are located on the main concourse, and many of them are easily visible by signage in space. Fans can enjoy crispy chicken sandwiches on brioche buns that feature various sauces, 1st Avenue nachos serve up chili lime carnitas and ancho chicken along with a ton of other vegetables to pour on your nachos, and the Uptown Market provides all beef hot dogs, chicken tenders and fries, and the local Seattle hot dog.


The Din Tai Fung Market is a popular location specializing in Asian cuisine. You will find sweet and sour spare ribs with rice, popcorn chicken, pork and vegetable buns, chicken fried rice, and spicy chicken wontons. A few of the items come in portable boxes that make transportation of it to your seat a little more effective than the standard hot dog and chicken tender and fry basket.


Just Poke offers Hawaiian ahi poke bowls and spam musubi. Molly D Burger Grill cooks mouth-watering burgers and homemade peanut butter and jelly corn dogs. The Impossible Burger is for vegetarians and vegans and serves burgers and Korean bowls, and Sound Pizza has pillowy focaccia-like square slices with garlic and parmesan fries.


The arena also offers a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Besides Pepsi brands, fans can enjoy plant-based energy tea, sparkling water, and Aquafina in non-plastic containers.


If you're looking for a beer or something a bit stronger, various grab-and-go locations have Pacific Northwest breweries. They include variances: Black Raven, Georgetown, Fremont, Pike, and Hop Valley. If you're looking for a macro brew, grab a course, Corona or Modelo.


Atmosphere 3

Climate Pledge Arena is a venue where fans enter at the top and then make their way down to the main concourse. Don’t be fooled by the lack of atmosphere at the top of the building; it gets lively on the bottom floor. It is where fans will find various spots for food, beverages, trendy sections, and a living wall.


The building’s goal is to be the most progressive, responsible, and sustainable arena in the world. It includes the absence of fossil fuel consumption for daily use, solar panels on the arena’s atrium, waterless urinals, a 15,000-gallon cistern to convert rainwater to ice at the hockey rink, and a 95 percent diversion rate on waste and recyclable materials.


The Living Wall is worth viewing when at a game. It measures 1,700 square feet and boasts 25 to 30 different species of plants from the Pacific Northwest. It stretches 200 feet and is 14 feet tall. It is a popular photo op for fans and is watered through recycled plastic bottles and rainwater.


The lower seating bowl is open for WNBA games, featuring the distinctive dual-suspended scoreboards that provide digital content. Its design is unique to the building and connects fans to the opposite sides of the seating bowl. They’re also banners of the Storm’s retired numbers and championship titles.


Neighborhood 5

The Climate Pledge Arena is in the Seattle Center, the arts, educational, tourism, and entertainment center in town. It is on the site of the 1962 World’s Fair and is within a few yards of the Space Needle and other places to visit while in town.


The International Fountain, also built for the World’s Fair, runs all year long; the Artists at Play playground is ideal for kids, along with the Seattle Children’s Museum and Pacific Science Center. The Museum of Pop Culture is home to pop culture experiences that include iconic TV moments, rock n roll music, science fiction, and much more.


The Armory Food & Event Hall houses a Seattle Kraken team store plus places to dine: Blue Water Taco, Kabab, Cool Guys Fry Bar, Wing Dome, and Premier Pies. The Fishers Pavillion is home to summer concerts and music festivals. During our visit, several artists sponsored by radio station KXEP performed on stage. Samples of drinks, food, and merchandise were available. Memorial Stadium is also located in Seattle Center and is home to the Seattle Cascades of the AUDL.


The Seattle Monorail provides patrons a short trip to downtown Seattle and drops fans off at the Westlake Station, providing access to the Seattle Market and piers, along with the light rail link to T-Moible Park and Lumen Field for a Seattle Mariners and Seahawks game, respectively.


Fans 4

Attendance figures are down from the previous year, but the Storm are still averaging well above the league average of 5,646. They are currently welcoming 8,000 plus fans to home games that include only lower-bowl seating. The support is strong, with a tradition of everyone standing until the first basket is scored by the home team. Many cheer passionately and jeer when the Storm turn the ball over.


Access 5

Climate Pledge Arena offers free public transit to all county buses and water taxis, Sound Transit buses and light-rail trains, the Seattle streetcar, and monorail to all events, including Storm games. The free passes are available two hours before and after the event; fans will have to link their Ticketmaster account to the Climate Pledge Arena app.


The Seattle Monorail connects fans to the arena from downtown at the Westlake Center Mall light-rail stop. The Westlake stop is also accessible to city buses and a few blocks from the City Market.


If driving to the event, the arena offers 1,110 spaces in the Underground Arena, 5th Avenue, and 1st Avenue North garages for parking. The price can range from as low as $20 to $50 within reasonable walking distance. The Skyway Luggage Employee Lot 2500 Elliot Avenue can be as low as $5. All tickets should be purchased before the event to secure a spot. If parking downtown and using the monorail, the price tag could be closer to $10.


Return on Investment 4

The price of a ticket changes per game and, depending on who is in town, could be in the $30 range; however, closer to game time and select nights, a ticket could fall to $11. It is based on the website TickPick, which I use and never charges additional fees (Stadium Journey is also not endorsed by the website).


Fans can upgrade their tickets to either the Symetria or WaFd Bank Club for an additional $25. The private, premium club space provides locale Seattle craft beer offerings. Food prices are on the higher side, with a Hop Valley Kraken Stash IPA selling for $16.99 a can. Their food is of first-class quality with many items locally sourced and made fresh on the spot.


The price of public transportation is free to and from all games, but concession prices are high in price. The food is of high quality and varies from traditional to local cuisine. Perhaps it provides a fan to splurge due to savings on tickets and transportation fees.


Extras 4

An evening at a Seattle Storm game at the Climate Pledge Arena is advantageous for free public transportation, touring the living wall along the main concourse, and visiting Seattle Center stores. The area offers restaurants, museums, a children's playground, and the Space Needle, among the options before or after a basketball game.


Final Thoughts

Climate Pledge Arena is a building that stands out among the rest of the WNBA and the nation. The interaction with fans and the team provides an ideal atmosphere for a first-time visitor, and the neighborhood is worth spending a few hours at before or after the game. When you add free mass transportation to the game, visiting the building is a must in Seattle.


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Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on Twitter @ballparkhunterand his YouTube channel. Email at Marc.Viquez@stadiumjourney.com


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