SEATTLE, Wash., and BUFFALO, N.Y. (May 27, 2021) – Climate Pledge Arena, the future home of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken, four-time WNBA champions Seattle Storm and premier live music and entertainment, today announced it has selected global hospitality and entertainment company Delaware North to manage its on-site food and beverage services.
Climate Pledge Arena is a complete redevelopment of a historic landmark on the Seattle Center campus. Upon completion in October 2021, it will be the first-ever net Zero Carbon certified arena in the world. The development is led by Oak View Group, the largest sports and entertainment developer in the world.
Delaware North will play a significant part in building ‘The Climate Collective,’ the arena’s unique food and beverage program featuring curated vendors, local ingredients and partners that capture the spirit of the Pacific Northwest.
“‘The Climate Collective’ will be an innovative, sustainable, fan-focused food and beverage program that brings all of the flavors of the Pacific Northwest to life," said Steve Mattson executive vice president and general manager of Climate Pledge Arena. "I've worked with Delaware North for many years and know firsthand how invested they are in our success at Climate Pledge Arena. They will help us never lose track of what's most important – our fans.”
Delaware North CEO Charlie Jacobs said: “Climate Pledge Arena is a glimpse into the future, in terms of fan experience and sustainable venue operations. This type of forward thinking perfectly aligns with our core values, and we are excited to deliver our innovation and distinct brand of hospitality. Our partners at Oak View Group and the Seattle Kraken are setting a new standard, and we are thrilled to be part of the team.”
In addition to owning and operating TD Garden – home of the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics – Delaware North operates concessions, premium dining, event catering, year-round restaurants and retail at more than 50 venues across the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Asia.
“We’re working hard behind the scenes as we speak to bring together an arena food and beverage experience unlike any in the industry at present,” said Ken Gaber, vice president of strategic operations for Delaware North Sportservice. “Climate Pledge Arena will have abundant local flavors and brands, and it’ll feature conveniences never before seen at this scale.”
Leaders in place
The team has already brought on Steve Dominguez as general manager and Molly D. De Mers as executive chef. De Mers — the first female executive chef for a new major professional sports venue at opening — and Dominguez both bring significant regional experience to a food and beverage program anchored in local flavors.
Dominguez most recently served as a district manager for Centerplate, overseeing operations at T-Mobile Park, Seattle Aquarium, Washington State Ferries and Yakima Convention Center. He came to Seattle in 2010 as general manager of then-Safeco Field, which earned consistent accolades under his leadership – including for local craft beer selection and earning Sports Illustrated’s No. 1 overall ranking for both food safety and offering.
Dominguez also spent 10 years in leadership roles for Aramark at sports venues such as Coors Field in Denver, Cashman Field Complex in Las Vegas and Angels Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. He earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology at the University of Colorado-Boulder and holds professional hospitality accreditations from the National Restaurant Association and Cornell University.
De Mers, who studied molecular gastronomy and earned a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts’ Scottsdale campus, comes to Climate Pledge Arena after three years as executive chef at Seattle Aquarium. While in that role, her focus on sustainability helped the property become Leadership Status-certified through the James Beard Foundation.
De Mers launched her culinary career in Las Vegas in 2006 and has since held executive sous chef or executive chef roles at high-volume destinations such as the San Diego Convention Center and Denver Convention Center. Among other professional accolades, in 2016 she earned the prestigious San Diego County YWCA “Tribute to Women & Industry” award, which honors women who have made significant contributions to industry in managerial, executive, supervisory and/or professional roles.
“Our culinary team is focused on creating a quintessentially Pacific Northwest culinary experience that’s sure to leave guests feeling a strong sense of hometown pride,” De Mers said.
About Delaware North
Delaware North is a global hospitality and entertainment company founded in 1915 and owned by the Jacobs family for more than 100 years. Delaware North operates at high-profile places such as sports and entertainment venues, national and state parks, cultural landmarks, destination resorts and restaurants, airports, and regional casinos. Our associates are dedicated to delighting guests by creating the world’s best experiences. Delaware North serves millions of guests each year in the sports, travel hospitality, restaurant and catering, lodging, gaming, and specialty retail industries. Learn more about Delaware North at www.DelawareNorth.com.
About Climate Pledge Arena
Climate Pledge Arena, located at Seattle Center, will be the first net zero certified arena in the world. It will serve as a long-lasting and regular reminder of the urgent need for climate action. The Climate Pledge, which was founded by Amazon and Global Optimism in 2019, is a commitment from companies globally to be net zero carbon by 2040. The complete redevelopment of this historic landmark, originally built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, will be an industry first. Home to the NHL’s Seattle Kraken, WNBA’s Seattle Storm, and the world’s biggest performers of live music and events, Climate Pledge Arena will open in 2021. Learn More at www.climatepledgearena.com.
Above: A rendering of Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Wash.
Middle: Steve Dominguez, general manager for Delaware North at Climate Pledge Arena.
Below: Molly DeMers, executive chef for Delaware North at Climate Pledge Arena.