Though it can be hard to imagine, soon enough, we will head back to arenas and enjoy rooting for the home team. New arenas underway on both coasts are incorporating innovations to protect us—and the environment too.
Building In Real Time
National Hockey League (NHL) Commissioner Gary Bettman sums up the season currently underway like this: We have to be ready to adjust and adapt to anything that may happen….We’re going to have to make judgments in real time.
The contractors working on arenas for the New York Islanders and the Seattle Kraken had begun work prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. With “normal” shifting so dramatically since then, the builders have been adding new safety measures in anticipation of healthy—and hopefully extra exuberant returns to arenas next season. As Tim Leiweke, chief executive of the venue development firm Oak View Group, told the The New York Times:
We are waking up every day and trying to figure out how to have clear air….That is critical to get people back to the live experience. We will get their confidence back.
The UBS Arena At Belmont
The Islanders $1 billion dollar home hopes to host more than 17,000 fans for games—and will be a venue for concerts too. ME Engineers is charged with studying and putting in place solutions for clean air—at UBS and many other venues around the country. Project leaders have been studying data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as a variety of research and government guidance on airflow rates and occupant spacing. As Ed Bosco, the managing principal at ME Engineers explained to the New York Times:
Active virus particles in the air can be reduced by ventilation, filtration, local dilution and exposing the virus to ultraviolet radiation.
At UBS the systems will be newly calibrated and heavily tested during construction so we can be more certain about the data we collect and the building’s responses to tests we are running.
We’re starting to find solutions that really rise to the top. We are looking at the big picture and how that influences the return of public assembly. It feels like these events are going to be what lets us get comfortable being back together as a society.
Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena
When the Seattle Kraken take the ice, they, like the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, will be playing in the world’s first certified net-zero carbon arena. Construction Dive reports:
In order to earn the Zero Carbon Certification from the International Living Future Institute, the arena will run solely on electrical power from on-site solar panels and off-site renewable energy, such as wind farms.
The $1 billion arena retains the roof and exterior glass facade from the Seattle Center Arena — built in 1962 — and sits within the same 74-acre Seattle Center development as the Space Needle
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What’s Next: Cool To Think About!
According to The New York Times, in addition to clear and renewable energy, The Kraken in Seattle will also eliminate single-use plastics over time, have electric charging stations for vehicles—and:
Promote sustainability by encouraging fans to collect rainwater that will be turned into ice for their hockey team.
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