Here’s Why This is the Most Sustainable Sports Arena in the U.S.
Major sports stadiums generate approximately 35,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year, but the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle is striving to do better for the planet. This week, the eco-conscious stadium announced a partnership with Impossible Foods that will make the world's most sustainable arena even more environmentally friendly.
Impossible Foods is setting up a test kitchen on the upper concourse of the Climate Pledge Arena, the current home to the NHL team Seattle Kraken and the WNBA team Seattle Storm, hosting approximately 18,000 fans at max capacity. By introducing more plant-based options with Impossible Foods, the Climate Pledge Arena will effectively lessen its environmental impact even more. Although the stadium does still serve some animal products, it claims that those animal ingredients are sourced locally.
“The arena is totally state of the art,” Peter McGuinness, Impossible Foods CEO, posted on LinkedIn. “From its incredible design and food offerings to the fact that it’s the first net zero certified arena in the world. Our partnership with Climate Pledge Arena is a great example of how we can work together to infuse sustainable practices into more industries. [I] really hope to see more of this.”
The Climate Pledge Arena's New Impossible Foods Menu
Impossible Foods opened two concession stands in sections 11 and 12, providing guests with several meatless options to help contribute to the stadium's eco-friendly mission. The Climate Pledge Arena will make the Impossible Cheeseburger the official burger of the stadium.
The opening menu features several vegetarian menus including two Impossible Cheeseburgers, an Impossible Beef Philly Cheesesteak, an Impossible Korean BBQ Beef Bowl, an Impossible Meatball Sub, and Impossible Beef Chili Curly Fries. These dishes contain dairy, making them not vegan-friendly.
However, the Impossible Chicken Nuggets will be served at the concession stands, offering guests a fully vegan option. The nuggets will come with fries and barbecue sauce. Guests are likely to see more plant-based options in the future because this location will act as a test kitchen for Impossible Foods products.
The Climate Pledge Arena’s Sustainable Mission
The Climate Pledge Arena was designed by the architecture firm Populous to align with the international Climate Pledge, a campaign that encourages the world's top companies to reach new zero carbon by 2040. The Climate Pledge Arena is the first sports stadium to receive a net zero carbon certification from the International Living Future Institute.
When it comes to food, the arena ensures that 75 percent of its food is sourced within 300 miles of Seattle. The sports arena also operates compost and recycling initiatives to help reduce waste, working to eradicate single-use plastics by 2024. Now, the Impossible Foods menu will help further reduce the stadium's environmental impact. The Impossible burger requires 95 percent less land, wastes 69 percent less water, and emits 88 percent fewer greenhouse gases than conventional beef burgers.
The Climate Pledge Stadium runs exclusively on renewable energy. The stadium is covered with solar panels and features a 200-foot living wall filled with plants as well as a roof covered with about 67 carbon-capturing London Plane trees. The stadium also collects rainwater for the ice used in NHL games, and tickets to both Seattle Krakens and Storm games double for public transit tickets, encouraging fans to lower their carbon footprint to and from the arena.
The Target Center Gets Vegan Options
Outside of the Climate Pledge Arena, vegan options at sports stadiums are slim. But plant-based fans of the Minnesota Timberwolves are in luck. This month, The Target Center announced a new partnership with Wicked Kitchen, providing tasty vegan concessions to basketball fans starting this season.
“Wicked Kitchen is a wonderful addition to our concession lineup at Target Center, providing delicious and approachable plant-based options for our fans,” Ryan Tanke, Chief Operating Officer of Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, said earlier this month. “A gourmet and chef-driven offering, there is something for everyone from Wicked’s sandwiches to ice cream. We are so excited to introduce Wicked Kitchen to Timberwolves fans this season.”
Wicked Kitchen expects to team up with more sports arenas globally in the future, helping provide healthier food options that also lower the environmental impact of these sports stadiums.
Vegan Food in Major League Baseball
This trend extends to several other major sporting leagues, especially Major League Baseball. In recent years, MLB stadiums have introduced plant-based options with the help of Oatly and Beyond Meat. Dodger Stadium (home of the Los Angeles Dodgers) is gaining a reputation as one of the most vegan-friendly stadiums in the United States, serving fans Beyond burgers, tempeh tacos, and nachos covered in Follow Your Heart Cheese.
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