This case explores the economic, cultural, and environmental implications of the creation of the Kraken, the National Hockey League’s (NHL) newest expansion team in Seattle, Washington. It follows the responsibilities and decisions facing brothers Tod and Tim Leiweke, the former Kraken’s CEO, and the latter a founder of the Oak View Group, a development and investment company for sports and entertainment that owned and redeveloped the Kraken’s arena. Newly tasked by Amazon with making the Kraken’s new home, Climate Pledge Arena, go carbon neutral, the Leiwekes faced their greatest challenges yet: achieving what no other sports arena had accomplished in sustainability, controlling the costs of doing so to ensure continued profitability, and maintaining their reputations as competent leaders in managing national sports teams and venues.
The case presents the increasing focus on sustainability by national sports leagues and the NHL in particular. With Seattle as the setting for this bold endeavor to be carbon neutral, the case describes the financial commitments and early outcomes involved in achieving it, and the long-term reporting requirements to which the Leiweke brothers were bound to ultimately demonstrate their success.