The coronavirus pandemic may have temporarily halted all sports teams from competing, but is not slowing down construction of new venues. NHL Seattle, the league’s newest expansion team, is seeing its future home arena continue to undergo planning despite its location in one of the most infected areas of the country.
Construction teams overseeing the building of New Arena at Seattle Center are heeding to health guidelines outlined by medical experts and government officials in an effort to keep workers safe without slowing down the project’s progress. Work on the arena has been halted for the remainder of this week to allow for deep cleanings of the site and will resume on March 30 through remote planning.
“Following Gov. Inslee’s additional guidance regarding the impact of his March 23 ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ proclamation as it relates to construction, and, following conversations with Mayor Durkan’s office, work will continue on the New Arena at Seattle Center construction site,” NHL Seattle shared in a release. “At the construction site of our team headquarters and community facility, Northgate Ice Centre, BN Builders and all project partners have stood down from construction activity in line with Gov. Inslee’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ proclamation. We thank the project leadership team and all of the craft workers on site for their dedication during this unprecedented time. We look forward to resuming work when advised to do so. Team members will continue to work on project-related planning from remote locations.”
Several other sports arenas are moving forward with their construction projects, including several new soccer-specific complexes for various MLS teams and Allegiant Stadium. The future home of the NFL’s Raiders made headlines this week after a worker onsite tested positive for COVID-19, though building will not be delayed.
NHL Seattle was on track to unveil its official team name and colors but ultimately postponed that announcement given the uncertain state of hockey season and the virus’ impact on the local community. Washington state quickly became one of the first epicenters for COVID-19 in the U.S. and to date, has seen over 3,200 confirmed cases and 147 deaths.