With barely a week to go until the Kraken picks its team, the NHL announced Tuesday that the expansion draft in which players are selected will take place on an outdoor stage at Gas Works Park.
Fans can attend the July 21 event from 3:30-7 p.m., but must first acquire a free ticket. The draft will be broadcast live on ESPN2 starting at 5 p.m., with hosts Chris Fowler and Dominic Moore on the main stage and Kevin Weekes reporting in from various Seattle landmarks. The entire park is being considered a closed television film set, meaning entry will be denied to anyone without a ticket.
Kraken spokesperson Katie Townsend said ticket information will be made available in coming days — season-ticket holders have priority — and there will be capacity for around 4,000. The team plans to distribute what Townsend called “a big bucket of tickets” through contests and community groups so the general public gets a chance to attend.
There is no parking at the park, but there will be free parking and shuttle service from the University of Washington, with more information to be sent to those with tickets.
There are limited seats available, and those receiving assigned seats will be notified in advance. Fans cannot bring portable chairs or umbrellas to the park, and there will be a metal detector and bag screening for large items at the gates. There will be portable restrooms on site.
Any signs brought by fans cannot exceed two-by-three feet and must be handheld without poles or sticks, and must not be offensive. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on site, and only service animals are allowed.
There will be three food trucks, a beer garden and nonalcoholic Pepsi products serving as concessions, with bottled water for sale, as there are no hydration stations at the park. Food items and nonalcoholic beverages can be brought in but no bottled products.
A giant video screen on a barge will broadcast the event to boaters, who the team is encouraging to “sail-gate” in waters adjacent the park. Prizes will be offered to the best-decorated water craft, but boaters won’t have access to the park from the water, nor will they be allowed to drop anchor.
A team statement reads: “The celebration expands beyond the park and into the waters of Lake Union as we invite those on boats, kayaks, paddleboards, and all other water sport enthusiasts to catch the show from the water. Throughout the event, there will be special celebrity guests, food and beverage vendors, giveaways, and more.”
The Kraken has worked with local bars Angry Beaver, Chandler’s Cove, Rookies Sports Bar and Grill, Petoskeys Sports Bar and Grill and Queen Anne Beer Hall to stage watch parties. The Hub Tavern in Spokane and The Peanut Far Sports Bar and Grill in Anchorage, Alaska, are also hosting team-assisted watch parties.
The Kraken will pick one player from each of the 30 NHL teams, not including the exempt Vegas Golden Knights. The team expects to potentially have a handful of selected players in attendance.