Climate Pledge Arena, the home of the Seattle Kraken, held an event for media on Friday, October 13, showcasing the food it’ll be serving up to guests at NHL games. Judging by that preview there are going to be three major pillars of the menu: sustainability, making things in-house, and pork.
The sustainability part is no surprise. Climate Pledge Arena — named by Amazon after the tech giant bought the naming rights in 2020 — is one of the most climate-focused sports venues in the world. It’s fully electrified (even the zambonis run on electricity) and recently earned a net zero carbon certification from the International Living Future Institute. That commitment means that the concessions food program prioritizes using local ingredients to cut down on transportation-related emissions.
Executive Chef Molly DeMers tells Eater Seattle that her team is contractually bound to purchase 75 percent of their ingredients from within 300 miles, but she also tries to prioritize minority- and women-owned businesses and really get into the weeds when it comes to sourcing. “The last thing I want to do is check boxes,” she says. “I want to really get to know the people behind the product.”
Instead of relying on outside vendors, an approach taken by both T-Mobile Park and Lumen Field, Climate Pledge relies on DeMers and her team — six chefs, 125 cooks, and 500 total staffers — to make pretty much everything. This includes the salsas that accompany the nachos and tacos, and even the tortillas.
“For 17,000 people that’s a really big feat, but we took all summer to get it down,” DeMers says. There’s so much prep work involved that “we’re almost a 24-hour kitchen.”
This amount of attention to detail pays off. The tacos are impressive, especially by the standards of stadium fare: The salsa tastes fresh and contains a good amount of spice, and the tortillas are flavorful and do their job of supporting the filling — the al pastor, by the way, is another highlight. If you only get one thing here, get the tacos. (They’re available at Mercado Antojitos in Section 4.)
If you get two things, they’ll likely feature pork in some way. Hot dogs can come with bacon aioli and pork belly hash — miraculously, this combo doesn’t feel too heavy — and if you’re lucky enough to be in a suite there’s bacon-infused cotton candy. (It really does taste like bacon, we checked.) The thing DeMers is most proud of, though, is the pork belly “cinnamon roll,” which is pork belly rolled up like a cinnamon roll, smoked, and dressed with a sweet honey sauce.
That’s not to say that everything is meat-focused here. The Bristol Bay Wild Market in Section 21 has a salmon and greens dish that will make you think you’re not inside an arena, and sections 108 and 11 have Impossible plant-based meat substitutes that do a good job of imitating the real thing. Additionally, gluten-free hot dog and burger buns are available everywhere the normal buns are.
Finally, there are some outside concessions inside Climate Pledge, most notably Din Tai Fung (Section 6), Just Poke (Section 4), and Metropolitan Grill (sections 1 and 14). For a full list of concessions, go here.