Sustainability is top of mind this Earth Month for many businesses. However, at the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, home of NHL team the Seattle Kraken and WNBA team the Storm, sustainability was baked in from the start when it first opened its doors in 2021.

At this single-use plastic-free venue, sustainability measures include using a 15,000-gallon Rain-to-Rink cistern to make its hockey rinks; running on 100-percent renewable energy, much of which is sourced from its on-site 1,300 solar panels; and specialized recycling, sorting, and waste programs to divert more than 90 percent of its waste from landfills. 

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In 2023, the arena became the first venue of its kind to achieve a Zero Carbon Certification by the International Living Future Institute, reaching a milestone toward its goal of reaching net-zero carbon by 2040.

So what does the world’s most sustainable sports arena serve during its more than 200 events annually? A lot of plant-based food, naturally. 

“As our guest’s priorities shift and evolve, so do our menus,” Molly De Mers, Executive Chef for Delaware North at Climate Pledge Arena, tells VegNews. “Our goal in this building is to meet the demands of every fan that comes in this arena while prioritizing what’s sustainable for our community and planet.”

“Plant-based concepts are more than just tofu and our fans deserve to be met with a thought-out, nourishing mindful dish,” De Mers says. “That’s our approach to all areas of this food and beverage program.”

Climate Pledge Arena’s Earth-friendly menu

While the menus at the Climate Pledge Arena are constantly changing—with an update due in May—De Mers makes sure that plant-based fare is always fresh, exciting, and available to guests throughout the arena. 

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At Barrio Bowl, guests can opt for a Cauliflower Rice Bowl with marinated mushrooms, black beans, corn, and salsa verde, plus mini churros—dusted with cinnamon and sugar—for dessert. 

At the Carne & Cacio Marketplace, there’s a For the Garden Lovers vegan dish made with foraged mushrooms, peppers, artichokes, parsley pistou, and pea tendrils. Two dessert options (Gooey Brownie Cake and Dough Joy Donuts) are on offer at the Local Lolli Marketplace.

The arena extends its plant-based ethos to private seating areas, as well. For instance, The Moët & Chandon Impérial Lounge, the arena’s all-inclusive private restaurant offers the Our Grass Is Greener menu. 

While the entire menu is not plant-based, a variety of options are available such as Garbanzo Bean Salad, Broccoli Salad, Cannellini Baked Succotash, and Falafel Sandy’s, along with two types of Impossible Burgers.  

Impossible test kitchen at Climate Pledge Arena

A unique feature of the Climate Pledge Arena’s food offerings is a very prominent partnership with Impossible Foods that began in 2022. This means that in addition to serving Impossible Burgers, the arena is a testing ground for Impossible’s newest items and a place where the plant-based company showcases the best of its existing products. 

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“Meeting the needs of our fans with the most epic burger was a challenge we couldn’t wait to tackle,” De Mers says. “And we are so humbled and proud that our ‘official burger of the Kraken’ is an Impossible Burger, met with seasonality and local flair.” 

“It’s so cool to be a part of and watch fans gravitate toward it over animal protein,” De Mers says. 

At the Impossible Marketplace, guests will find vegan items such as the Impossible Chicken Nuggets served with barbecue sauce and fries; the Impossible Korean BBQ Beef Bowl; and Onion Rings. 

In addition to all the dishes currently on the menu, Impossible continuously innovates in its test kitchen to give guests even more. Currently, the Impossible Test kitchen serves vegan Meatballs Pasta Bowl with marinara and garlic confit. 

The most popular dishes? De Mers points to the Korean BBQ Impossible bowl, which she serves with house hot pickled carrots, radish, and in-house Korean barbecue sauce that the Impossible Meat is cooked in before being served over jasmine rice.

“Chef [De Mers] and the team at Climate Pledge Arena have been fantastic partners to work with, especially because they’re always receptive to trying new products and menu items,” an Impossible Foods spokesperson tells VegNews. 

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Late last year, the plant-based company debuted a snappy meatless hot dog and Climate Pledge Arena visitors were among the first to sample Impossible Bratwurst Sausage and Impossible Hot Dogs.

“That means thousands of Kraken fans every gameday have the opportunity to swap a traditional beef hot dog for our plant-based hot dog and enjoy the plant-based nutritional benefits of 0 milligrams cholesterol and 50-percent less saturated fat, while also netting real environmental savings,” the spokesperson says. “And the best part is, they can do so without having to compromise on juicy, nostalgic flavor.” 

“It’s a great example of how our partnership is driving the conversation forward on the culinary possibilities with meat from plants—sometimes the best innovations are reimaginings of classics,” the Impossible spokesperson says. 

Whether you’re stopping in for a Kraken game this spring or the Justin Timberlake show in May, you’ll be happy to know that the Climate Pledge Arena will have plenty of plant-based food. 

The food future at the arena will continue to focus on plant-based innovation as it works toward its 2040 net-zero carbon goals. 

“The Test Kitchen is already underway in developing concepts for our fourth season coming up this fall and I am stoked to watch this grow even larger,” De Mers says. “One thing we know for sure is there is a want and need for protein outside of animal protein and we will continue to deliver to our community.”

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