Seattle’s professional hockey team finally has a name — and it’s time to get Kraken.
In a much-hyped branding reveal on Thursday morning from the construction site where a new Seattle arena is being built, the Seattle Kraken team name, logo and colors were unveiled in a live video announcement.
The logo, with two shades of blue inspired by Puget Sound, was built in close partnership with Adidas and features a giant S with a tentacle running through it and a red eye at the top.
Get ready, Seattle.
It’s real. https://t.co/FHP7UB3E95
— NHL Seattle (@NHLSeattle_) July 23, 2020
NHL Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke, speaking to a crowd of construction workers, said 100,000 fans with 1,000 unique team names weighed in on a previous survey.
“We listened in coffee shops and in meetings and in Zoom calls,” Leiweke said. “We’ve spent two years listening. … We pledge now to always embrace the passion of our fans and to always listen. We hope today is proof positive that we continue to honor that passion. A passion to build the next great franchise. A passion to bring the Stanley Cup back to Seattle and we hope today is proof positive that we’ve been good listeners.”
Leiweke called the name unique to the NHL, but “authentic to our home” and said the day’s celebration would continue with a flag raising at the nearby Space Needle and an online performance by musician Brandi Carlile.
For the uninitiated, a kraken is a giant sea monster with roots in Scandinavian folklore, and “Release the Kraken!” just happens to be a popular catchphrase because of its utterance in the 1981 film “Clash of the Titans.”
The team name and design comes more than a year and a half after the NHL awarded Seattle with the league’s 32nd team.
In the time since, Seattle sports fans who grew up on Mariners, Seahawks, Supersonics, Sounders, Storm and more have speculated about all the possible names which could befall a new hockey franchise.
Some hoped it would be a throwback to Seattle’s NHL roots — the Seattle Metropolitans won a Stanley Cup in 1917. Others were pushing for Sockeyes, Seals, Totems and more options with a nod to the Pacific Northwest. Seattle Freeze was even a leading contender among more sarcastic name watchers.
Oak View Group, the team’s ownership parent group, includes Tim Leiweke, David Bonderman and Jerry Bruckheimer, as well as Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy and majority Seattle Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer.
The team will play in a reimagined and expensively remodeled version of what was KeyArena, the sports and concert venue at Seattle Center. Amazon announced last month that it had bought the naming rights and would be calling it Climate Pledge Arena as a way to draw attention to its Climate Pledge initiatives.
Amazon said the venue, which will also be home to the Seattle Storm WNBA team, will be the first net zero carbon certified arena in the world, generate zero waste from operations and events, and be powered with 100% renewable electricity. It will also create the “greenest ice in the NHL” by using reclaimed rainwater for its ice system stored in a giant tank underground next to the arena, according to ESPN.
“Instead of naming it after Amazon, we’re calling it Climate Pledge Arena as a regular reminder of the importance of fighting climate change,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement at the time.
The KeyArena name was lifted off the building by helicopter earlier this month.
Located just blocks from Amazon’s headquarters and the tech hub of South Lake Union, the 18,100-seat venue is undergoing a $930 million reconstruction project with a scheduled opening in Summer 2021.
Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group, previously told GeekWire that the team was very much interested in attracting a tech-savvy crowd.
“This is the tech city of the future, and that means we have to be a showcase,” Leiweke said.
The team is also building an $80 million training facility and headquarters north of downtown Seattle at the Northgate Mall site.
The NHL paused its season in March because of the coronavirus pandemic and recently announced that it will return to play on Aug. 1.
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