Climate Pledge Arena will be the name of the home of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm and the new NHL expansion team. Amazon bought the naming rights to KeyArena and, rather than putting its own name on the building, is making a major statement on climate change.
Amazon announced Thursday that it had purchased the naming rights to Seattle’s 58-year-old KeyArena, home of the WNBA’s Storm and Seattle’s incoming NHL expansion franchise, but the building will be known as Climate Pledge Arena.
In a statement, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said: “We’ve secured naming rights to the historic arena previously known as KeyArena. Instead of naming it after Amazon, we’re calling it Climate Pledge Arena as a regular reminder of the importance of fighting climate change.”
The arena’s new moniker is an outgrowth of The Climate Pledge, a collaboration between Amazon and Global Optimism, a purpose driven enterprise focused on social and environmental change, that launched last September. It calls on signatories to be net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040 — a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement, which aims to hold global average temperature increases to well below 2 degrees Celsius vs. pre-industrial age levels.
Climate Pledge signatories commit to:
- Regular greenhouse gas emissions disclosures
- Energy efficiency improvements
- Renewable energy and reduced materials usage
- Purchase carbon offset credits for emissions they can’t directly eliminate.
Los Angeles-based arena developer Oak View Group joined the pledge as part of Thursday’s naming rights deal.
GSB’s Take: In a post-COVID-19 world, when sports are once again played at home venues, every time the Seattle Storm takes the court or the still-to-be-named NHL Seattle team hits the ice, broadcasters and PA announcers will intone, “Live, from Climate Pledge Arena!”
That makes today’s announcement one of the biggest stories in the 17-year history of the Green-Sports movement.
This does not mean that critics like the Amazon Employees for Climate Justice group should stop pressuring the company. It says here they should continue to urge Amazon to target zero emissions by 2030 — forget Paris and 2050; 2040 is too late.
But that discussion is for another day.
Today, Amazon, the Storm and the new NHL team deserve kudos for the birth of Climate Pledge Arena.