Climate Pledge Arena is going to be the site of the Kraken NHL team, but the revamped arena set to open next summer is being built for more than just hockey.
The 18,100-seat multi-purpose arena has been selected to host both women’s and men’s NCAA basketball tournament games in the coming years, Climate Pledge Arena and Oak View Group announced Wednesday. The arena will be a regional site for the Division I women’s basketball tournament in 2023 and a first- and second-round site for the Division I men’s basketball tournament in 2025.
Ticket information for the games will be announced at a later date by the NCAA.
“A key part of the vision behind the Climate Pledge Arena’s redevelopment was to secure world-class events like the NCAA championships, and we are proud to see that vision realized with today’s announcement,” said Steve Mattson, executive vice president and general manager of Climate Pledge Arena in a news release. “The arena’s location in the heart of the city and on the Seattle Center campus is the perfect location for NCAA sports fans from around the world to come to cheer on their team and also experience Seattle.”
The selection comes as the NCAA announced 450 host sites for championships in Divisions I, II and III. More than 3,000 bids were submitted and the sites were selected by the respective NCAA sports committees and approved by the divisional competition oversight and championships committees.
“We are very excited to work with our partners at the Seattle Sports Commission and the partner collegiate organizations to ensure that these experiences will solidify Seattle and Climate Pledge Arena as a premier location for NCAA championship events for decades to come.”
In addition to hosting the first and second rounds of the 2025 men’s basketball tournament, the University of Washington was selected to host the 2025 men’s golf regional championships at Gold Mountain Golf Club and the 2025 women’s gymnastics regional championships at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Seattle Pacific University was selected as the host institution for the 2022 Division II Fall Championships Festival, which includes men’s and women’s cross country, women’s field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. The events will take place during the final week of November and first week of December in 2022.
“We are so excited to welcome student-athletes, university staff and fans from all around the world,” said Seattle Center Director Robert Nellams in a release. “We can’t wait to work with the arena and our community and university partners to provide a truly Seattle experience that will help show off our beautiful city.”
Of course, the NCAA championships won’t be the first basketball events to grace the arena’s hardwood, as the WNBA champion Storm will make its home at the arena in 2021, after playing the past two seasons both at the Alaska Airlines Arena at UW and Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett.
The Kraken, Seattle’s expansion NHL team, will also open its inaugural season at the arena in 2021.