The Climate Pledge Arena opening is still set for fall 2021, as a brief shutdown in construction has not affected the overall schedule–but a potential realignment of the NHL schedule might delay the debut of the Seattle Kraken.
All in all, the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays on most new stadium and arena projects earlier this year, but with many states moving to deem construction work as essential, crews returned and work resumed. That’s been the case with Climate Pledge Arena, per KOMO News:
Ken Johnson, project lead, said they fell behind by roughly 30 days due to the pandemic, but their construction timetable is back on track.
“We’re going to be done certainly by the puck drop,” Johnson said. “Late summer, early fall, but we’ll be ready. This is going to be most beautiful arena in the world. I think a lot of that is the scale, the iconic roof, the glass.”
The original deadline for basically rebuilding the old KeyArena was created with the assumption that the NHL would be launching under normal circumstances, with the traditional early-October season opener. But since then we’ve seen the 2019-2020 season totally upended, and league officials looking at a January 1 2020-2021 season opener, pushing back an original opening date of Dec. 1, 2020 in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
More importantly, league owners are now looking at a permanent shift in the NHL schedule to a December-through-July timeframe, perhaps with less travel.
So the delay of the NHL season from October to December is probably very good news for the Climate Pledge Arena opening from the construction crew: if nothing else, there’s now more of a margin for error on what was an ambitious engineering task. Basically, the new arena is being built under the roof of the old arena, though parts of the old arena (like some utility infrastructure) were incorporated into the mix.