SBJ/20090126/This Week's News
Arena may be first to land ‘green’ certification
Published January 26, 2009
ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash., looks as if it’s going to win the race to be the first LEED-certified new arena in the United States, according to project principals.
The $84 million facility, home to the Western Hockey League’s Seattle Thunderbirds, opened Jan. 2, and officials are waiting to hear from the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council on certification. LEED, an acronym for the council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a rating system in which points are scored in six categories for sustainable design and construction of new buildings.
ShoWare Center would be the first new arena, regardless of size and tenant, to be LEED-certified. Other arenas being developed and built, including the Orlando Magic’s facility, have registered for LEED certification, but they can’t be certified until they have been completed.
In addition, existing arenas such as AT&T Center in San Antonio are seeking certification in a separate LEED classification.
In the Pacific Northwest, where environmental awareness is keen, designer LMN, builder Mortenson and their LEED consultant, Paladino & Co., developed a 6,100-seat arena expected to achieve LEED silver status, one level above the 26 minimum points required to be certified.
The possibility exists that ShoWare Center could even be awarded LEED gold by scoring 39 points, said Ben Golding, Mortenson’s project manager.
“We are 100 percent sure we are going to get silver and doing all it takes to get gold,” Golding said. “At the end of the project, we had enough of a buffer to do a couple things that we think will put us over the edge.”
One example: pushing outside air into the arena for 2 1/2 weeks to eliminate gaseous emissions from newly installed materials such as cushioned seats, rather than allowing those fumes to permeate the building. “You have to have time in the schedule to do that; it’s one of those difficult points,” Golding said.
SMG manages the facility, as well as the new Lucas County Arena in Toledo, Ohio, another midsize sports venue that local officials expect to be among the first LEED-certified arenas after the 8,000-seat building opens later this year.
In Kent, midway between Seattle and Tacoma, the city signed a 10-year, $3 million naming-rights deal with VisionOne, a Swiss-based technology company with U.S. headquarters in Fresno, Calif. VisionOne’s ShoWare is its Web-based ticketing system.
SMG signed a separate five-year deal with VisionOne to use ShoWare as its ticketer, said Tim Higgins, the arena’s general manager. Higgins declined to disclose the deal’s value.
Ticket convenience fees are $3 for hockey games, and there are no fees charged for fans printing their tickets at home. Those prices are a bit lower than the industry standard, Higgins said. Individuals ordering Thunderbirds tickets online are charged $5 to pick them up at the box office.