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Seattle Center Readies the Grounds for the Opening of Climate Pledge Arena

As Climate Pledge Arena prepares to open the world’s most sustainable arena and many resident arts and cultural organizations return to in-person events, Seattle Center has quietly upgraded campus amenities and readied the grounds. Multiple redevelopment initiatives have updated campus spaces and created new attractions to enhance the visitor experience in anticipation of the millions of event attendees who will pass through the 74-acre campus. 

Here are some of the changes they’ll notice along the way:      

New digital signage including directional and informational signs, perimeter readerboards, pole banners and more replace an array of static signs to improve wayfinding and event-related information sharing throughout the grounds. The new digital technology, installed over the next weeks, enhances the Center’s capacity to promote all the events happening on the campus. In addition to the fiber and power upgrades installed to support the new signage, campus Wi-Fi upgrades and 5G deployment will soon complement wireless and Wi-Fi available in Climate Pledge Arena. 

The exterior of the historic Seattle Center Armory has received a fresh coat of paint that harkens back to the building’s original colors and design, and exterior facades have been restored. The project removed outdated awnings, which will soon be replaced, and introduced new branding, signage and digital viewing options for Seattle Center Armory Food & Events Hall, now open after a COVID-19 closure, with refreshed spaces, new vendors, including Wing Dome, and more to be announced soon.      

The iconic, silver domed International Fountain, originally created for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair to reflect “mankind’s efforts to explore the farthest reaches of outer space,” reopened in July following an extensive renovation. New mechanics, technology and color-changing LED lighting replaced outdated equipment. Over 100 water micro shooters were upgraded, and 5,000 square feet of surface area was re-caulked. 

Evening visitors will soon encounter updated, refreshed and brighter lighting along pathways through the campus. As part of the effort, over 100 campus trees will be dressed in thousands of programmable LED lights. The Tree Lights will vary in color and intensity according to events in the Arena and other campus venues to provide whimsy and interest along the way. The lights will be in place in time for the grand opening of Climate Pledge Arena.   

Seattle Center Skate Plaza opened in September. This multi-pronged, partnered effort fulfills a commitment to the Seattle skateboarding community to continue to provide an outstanding and versatile skateboarding experience at Seattle Center. The project extends the campus to include an active, inviting 18,000 square-foot swath of abandoned Broad Street just to the east of the grounds. 

Upper and Lower Northwest Courtyard improvements include new concrete slab, waterproofing and structural reinforcement of the surface slabs, along with new landscaping beds and plantings. The upper area will soon house an outdoor stage. In the lower area, work has begun on an extensive redesign and restoration of DuPen Fountain, another installation originating from the 1962 World’s Fair. When the project is complete, visitors will find new landscaping and accessible water features amidst the original sculptural elements.  

The privately funded Climate Pledge Arena has honored the City’s 1% for Art Program by commissioning some significant outdoor artwork, a welcomed addition to the extraordinary visual art collection already on the grounds. Soon, the Seattle Center Art Tour presented by Alaska Airlines will be in place. It features maps of the campus collection contained on art pylons and interpretative signage for most of the works. QR codes on the signs will connect visitors to online information for each art piece and a digital presentation of the public art collection.   

Convenient parking is still paramount to many eventgoers, and so 5th Ave N and Mercer Street Garages, owned and managed by Seattle Center, just received fresh paint, refurbishment and seismic upgrades – and will soon gain a new “smart” parking system and digital signage to improve the parking experience.  

Work on Seattle Center Monorail modernizes the monorail system, provides better access, improves the connection to Link Light Rail and the regional bus network, increases the size of the passenger boarding area at Westlake Station and adds ticket machines and a faregate system at both stations. It also replaces old signs with digital signage and wayfinding (coming soon). 

As Seattle Center emerges from a devastating pandemic, opens the doors to Climate Pledge Arena, a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment center, and approaches the 60th Anniversary of the 1962 World’s Fair, in April 2022, the legacy of an arts and cultural hub and public gathering place that fair founders envisioned continues to thrive as new initiatives spur continued care and investment that will sustain Seattle Center long into the future. For more information on Seattle Center programs and initiatives, visit or call 206 684-7200. 

About Seattle Center:

Connect to the extraordinary at Seattle Center, an active civic, arts and family gathering place in the core of our region. More than 30 cultural, educational, sports and entertainment organizations that reside on the grounds, together with a broad range of public and community programs, create thousands of events on the 74-acre campus and attract over 12 million visitors each year. At Seattle Center, part of Uptown Arts & Cultural District and home to Climate Pledge Arena, the first certified zero carbon arena in the world, our purpose is to create exceptional events, experiences and environments that delight and inspire the human spirit to build stronger communities. Activities at the Center generate $1.864 billion in business activity and $631 million in labor income.