Delaware North lands Climate Pledge Arena contract

Hospitality and entertainment company Delaware North has agreed a deal to manage on-site food and beverage services at Climate Pledge Arena, stating the future home of NHL expansion franchise Seattle Kraken and the WNBA’s Seattle Storm will offer a F&B experience “unlike any in the industry” at present.

Due for completion in October, Climate Pledge Arena is a complete redevelopment of the former KeyArena on the Seattle Center campus. The development is led by Oak View Group (OVG) and Delaware North will play a significant part in building ‘The Climate Collective,’ the arena’s unique F&B program featuring curated vendors, local ingredients and partners that aim to capture the spirit of the Pacific Northwest.
“‘The Climate Collective’ will be an innovative, sustainable, fan-focused food and beverage program that brings all of the flavours of the Pacific Northwest to life,” said Steve Mattson, executive vice-president and general manager of Climate Pledge Arena. “I’ve worked with Delaware North for many years and know firsthand how invested they are in our success at Climate Pledge Arena. They will help us never lose track of what’s most important – our fans.”

Delaware North CEO Charlie Jacobs added: “Climate Pledge Arena is a glimpse into the future, in terms of fan experience and sustainable venue operations. This type of forward thinking perfectly aligns with our core values, and we are excited to deliver our innovation and distinct brand of hospitality. Our partners at Oak View Group and the Seattle Kraken are setting a new standard, and we are thrilled to be part of the team.”
In addition to owning and operating TD Garden – home of the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics – Delaware North operates concessions, premium dining, event catering, year-round restaurants and retail at more than 50 venues across the US, UK, Australia and Asia.
“We’re working hard behind the scenes as we speak to bring together an arena food and beverage experience unlike any in the industry at present,” said Ken Gaber, vice-president of strategic operations for Delaware North Sportservice. “Climate Pledge Arena will have abundant local flavours and brands, and it’ll feature conveniences never before seen at this scale.”

The team has already brought on Steve Dominguez as general manager and Molly D. De Mers as executive chef. Dominguez most recently served as a district manager for Centerplate, overseeing operations at T-Mobile Park, Seattle Aquarium, Washington State Ferries and Yakima Convention Center. He came to Seattle in 2010 as general manager of then-Safeco Field.

De Mers — the first female executive chef for a new major professional sports venue at opening —comes to Climate Pledge Arena after three years as executive chef at Seattle Aquarium.
The Kraken and OVG in March signed Coors Light as the official domestic beer partner, and Hop Valley Brewing Company as the official craft beer partner, of the team and its 18,100-seat Climate Pledge Arena.

Earlier this month, Verizon agreed a deal with OVG to become the exclusive 5G and wireless partner of Climate Pledge Arena, UBS Arena and Coachella Valley Arena.

Verizon’s deal was signed as OVG chief executive Tim Leiweke revealed that the cost of the Climate Pledge Arena, which will also be a major live music and entertainment venue, has risen to over $1bn (£706.8m/€821.7m). The overall cost of the project will total $1.15bn when incorporating the adjacent $75m private parking garage and $25m worth of signage.

The Molson Coors and Hop Valley announcements came just days after Climate Pledge Arena furthered its ambition to be a net zero carbon facility by agreeing a partnership with renewable energy infrastructure fund Excelsior Energy Capital and solar energy systems developer Unico Solar Investors. The deal will lead to the installation of onsite solar arrays.