Welcome to the Alaska Airlines Atrium at Seattle Center.
That’s where National Hockey League and Seattle Storm fans will enter the New Arena, now under construction, after a deal officially unveiled today.
Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden and NHL Seattle CEO Tod Leiweke unveiled the deal at a meeting of employees in SeaTac late this afternoon, along with new designs of the nearly billion dollar complex on the corner of the Seattle Center site.
Alaska Airlines tweeted Thursday evening: "Holy Zamboni! Excited to announce that we're the official airline and founding partner of NHL Seattle! We can't wait to cheer on the home team and welcome our community and guests to Seattle Center’s New Arena and the "Alaska Airlines Atrium" in 2021."
Oak View Group, the developer of the project, has long designed a main entrance on the south side of the new complex, which supplements the old KeyArena roof. The atrium design takes into account pedestrian and transit changes to reduce congestion on the north side of Seattle Center, Mercer Street, and the added subterranean parking garage.
It is just the latest move from Alaska Airlines in what has been a years-long brand battle in the Seattle marketplace. The hometown airline is hoping to hip check Delta, which made inroads with a naming rights deal at CenturyLink Field, and added flights in and out of the Seattle hub.
Alaska first paid to add it’s name to Hec Edmundson Pavilion at the University of Washington, and then agreed to a 10-year, $41 million dollar deal for “Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium” -- which also included an extension of the Hec Ed branding. It was the biggest such collegiate deal in history at the time, and includes airline signage on the scoreboard and throughout the stadium facility.
Under terms of the New Arena deal, the airline is also expected to have a presence at the team’s new training facility and headquarters at Northgate.
Terms of the deal were not immediately available.
The New Arena is not expected to open until 2021, and is also expected to have a naming rights deal as well. But Alaska’s brand will be the first the greet people at the front door.