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Amazon wins naming rights to new Seattle stadium and will call it the Climate Pledge Arena

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Climate Pledge Arena rendering

Source: Amazon

Amazon has bought the naming rights to downtown Seattle’s arena which will house a new NHL team and the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Seattle Storm, the company announced Thursday.

The KeyArena will now be renamed to Climate Pledge Arena, in reference to Amazon’s ambitious climate plan, which was first unveiled by CEO Jeff Bezos last September. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. An Amazon spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 18,100-seat arena will build on the Climate Pledge’s focus on sustainability and carbon neutrality. Amazon said it will be the first net zero carbon certified arena in the world, generate zero waste from operations and events and will be powered with 100% renewable electricity. It will also use reclaimed rainwater in the ice system to “create the greenest ice in the NHL.”

Climate Pledge Arena rendering

Source: Amazon

“Instead of naming it after Amazon, we’re calling it Climate Pledge Arena as a regular reminder of the importance of fighting climate change,” Bezos said in a statement, adding that Oak View Group, which is funding the reconstruction of KeyArena, has also joined Amazon’s Climate Pledge.

Seattle was awarded an expansion to the NHL franchise in 2018. The unnamed team will be the NHL’s 32nd team and it’s expected to be brought into the 2021-2022 season. 

As part of the Climate Pledge, Amazon has committed to be carbon neutral by 2040. It has also pledged to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris accord’s goal. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement in 2017. 

Since the plan’s launch, Amazon has announced a series of other green initiatives. Amazon on Tuesday launched a $2 billion fund to invest in climate technologies. Additionally, Bezos in February pledged $10 billion to launch a new Earth Fund for combating climate change, which will issue grants to climate-oriented scientists and activists and other organizations. 

Amazon has faced mounting pressure from employees to address its environmental impact. At Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting in May 2019, thousands of employees submitted a proposal asking Bezos to develop a comprehensive climate-change plan and reduce its carbon footprint. The proposal was built on an employee letter published in April 2019 that accused Amazon of donating to climate-delaying legislators and urged the company to transition away from fossil fuels.

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