Just before the puck drops on the inaugural season of Seattle Kraken hockey on Tuesday night, the team and its home base, Climate Pledge Arena, have dropped a new app to help fans with a variety of services and experiences.
The combined Kraken + Climate Pledge Arena mobile app is the first in the National Hockey League to be developed in house rather than through the league. Instead of focusing heavily on content, the app aims to drive efficiency around such things as transportation, ticketing and transactions.
And because the redeveloped arena will be home to much more than professional hockey, users can navigate information related to concerts, Seattle Storm games, and other sports and special events.
One feature of note is the ability to buy Kraken merchandise directly through the app from your seat at the arena rather than waiting in line. Fans designate their seat location and their merchandise will be delivered to the closest pick-up location in the arena. Suite ticket holders can opt to have their merchandise delivered directly to their seats during the game.
Other highlights include:
- Transportation: All season tickets and single game tickets will include fully subsidized public transit, via ORCA, so the app allows fans can to generate free passes for use on King County Metro (buses, light rail, and water taxi), and the Seattle Center Monorail. Those driving to Climate Pledge can discover and reserve the most convenient and cost-effective parking for each event through the app, and parking passes will be stored within the app for quick scanning.
- Tickets: The app integrates with Ticketmaster to make it easier to buy, sell or transfer tickets to a game or concert.
- Kraken content: The app is home to exclusive content on the new team, including pre-game analysis, player information, live updates throughout every game, player news and stats.
The app also includes the ability to chat with a virtual assistant “for all things Seattle Kraken and Climate Pledge Arena.” There is also information on arena policies and a FAQ on the arena’s COVID vaccine protocol.
Todd Humphrey, senior vice president of Fan Experience for the Kraken, said in a news release that every feature was built with fans in mind.
“Using our app will give you the quickest and most efficient experience possible, whether accessing tickets, getting to the arena, or buying a Kraken jersey,” Humphrey said. “I am proud of our team of designers and developers, and this is another example of how, as an organization, we are seeking to innovate to improve the fan experience.”
Eleven names are credited with “lovingly designing and building” the app on the “about us” page. Becca Elliott, director of the Digital & Fan Experience for the Kraken, told GeekWire that discussion around the app started three years ago and in collaboration with a technology committee, it was decided that the app should work for both the team and the arena.
Elliott said a few teams, including some in other leagues, have taken a similar approach as far as having both the team and arena present in-app, but the Kraken-Climate Pledge effort is the first to build everything entirely in-house. And she said the NHL has been a “wonderful collaborator” throughout the process.
“A great example is the fact that we will have in-game highlights added live during all Kraken games — a major innovation from the NHL,” Elliott said. “We showed them the ‘final’ product a few weeks ago and it was met with much support and enthusiasm. As technology, sports, and entertainment continue to evolve, we’re looking forward to being central to that innovation.”
The development team will now see how fans respond to the app, which features are most popular, and what fans want to see more of. Planned innovations will be around more access to game content, integration of membership benefits, and an integration with Amazon Music for concert pages.
“More than anything, we’re ready to be nimble and respond to what our fans are enjoying the most so we can ensure the app stays fan-focused in the years to come,” Elliott said.