Seattle’s new NHL team landed a big Washington wine star on home ice. On Wednesday, June 23, Woodinville-based Chateau Ste. Michelle announced it would be one of the Kraken’s official partners, establishing a major presence at the still-under-construction Climate Pledge Arena. When the venue opens this fall, there will be a sizable marketplace near the main entrance featuring Chateau Ste. Michelle brand 14 Hands, as well as a wine bar called the Chateau.
Among the wines on offer at the arena will be a limited-edition 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, a year meant to honor the 100th anniversary of the Seattle Metropolitans’ Stanley Cup win (the city’s original pro hockey franchise disbanded seven years later). To mark the union, Chateau Ste. Michelle will engrave a nine-liter bottle and set aside to be opened “when the Seattle Kraken win their first Stanley Cup,” the winery said in a statement. The company also plans to create new red and white Kraken-branded wine cans to hawk at the arena and local retailers in the fall.
As Climate Pledge Arena gets ready for its October 2021 debut, the food and drinks lineup has started to come into greater focus. Besides Chateau Ste. Michelle, a few of the newly announced third-party vendors include Din Tai Fung (the hugely popular dumpling house); local burger favorite Lil Woody’s; steakhouse mainstay Metropolitan Grill; Ethan Stowell’s pie joint Ballard Pizza, lunch bowl chain Just Poke, and Oregon brewery Hop Valley.
A local wine giant may not seem like the most obvious choice for raucous hockey games, but it seems to fit the polished vibe Climate Pledge Arena appears to be developing. Early design renderings teased plenty of VIP areas, fancy looking lounges, and the like, spaces which have become the norm across a lot of newer sports and entertainment venues hoping to generate revenue from big spenders. While the 14 Hands marketplace will be open to all, the Chateau is available for club level season ticket members only.
Climate Pledge Arena is also touting its carbon neutral ambitions, aiming to source 75 percent of all ingredients within 300 miles. Executive chef, Molly De Mers, told Eater Seattle that Climate Change will have the most plant-based options of any arena in the U.S. and that there are sustainable solutions for even smaller details, such as the ketchup and mustard options at concessions.
In keeping with that general philosophy, Chateau Ste. Michelle highlights its EnviroStar certification, efforts at reducing energy consumption, and water conservation, which appears to align with the Climate Pledge Arena’s goals. It’ll be worth seeing how well these brands mix as time goes along, particularly since this is the biggest food and beverage partner the venue and hockey team has announced to date. “Together we will continue to champion this wonderful region,” said Tod Leiweke, CEO of the Seattle Kraken.