Did You Know?

Did you know?

Now that the dust has settled on the opening of Climate Pledge Arena, we’d like to offer a look back on redevelopment of this historic building. The Arena began its life as Washington State Pavilion (WSP), built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. It reopened a couple years later as Washington State Coliseum (WSC) and held touring concerts, arena sports and other events. In the early 1990s, it closed for a much-needed renovation and reopened in 1995 as KeyArena. Twenty years later, it was again in need of some TLC. Climate Pledge Arena (CPA) built a brand-new building inside the iconic hyperbolic paraboloid rooftop and landmarked glass curtain walls.

Here are some comparisons of the old and new. The State of Washington built WSP for $7 million, and the City of Seattle purchased it for $2.7 million following the fair. The KeyArena renovation came in at $74 million, and CPA was built for $1.15 billion. The interior space increased from its original 130,000 square feet to 368,000 sq’ to its current 932,000 sq’ (includes the Arena’s new 400-stall underground parking garage). The base of the building was originally at street level, then at 35 feet below, and now it’s 53 feet down. The KeyArena renovation removed 200,000 ft3 of dirt and CPA 600,000 yds3.  

Capacity numbers for WSC, KeyArena and CPA: seats for NBA, 13,200/17,072/18,100; seats for NHL, 12,250/10,442/17,100-18,600; and concert seats, 14,770/17,459/17,200. KeyArena had one loading dock, two elevators and no escalators, five locker rooms and 58 guest suites. CPA has eight docks, 13 elevators and four escalators, 12 locker rooms and 59 suites.  

Climate Pledge Arena construction entailed 3.5 million labor hours put in by 5,955 workers over 1,049 days of building. The hard work helped create the first certified zero carbon arena in the world. The building lives on in all its glory waiting to make its mark and prove its mettle over its next 60 years!   

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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.