Shaq to open ‘Big Chicken’ restaurant inside Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena

Oct 8, 2021, 4:38 PM
Big Chicken, by Shaq, will open its first-ever in-arena location at Climate Pledge Arena. (Photo courtesy of ClimateArena/Twitter)
(Photo courtesy of ClimateArena/Twitter)

Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal is opening a new location of his “Big Chicken” restaurant inside Climate Pledge Arena.

Shaq stopped by the arena in Seattle on Thursday, sporting a brand-new Kraken sweater. His Big Chicken restaurant in the arena will have an exclusive Kraken sandwich with Buffalo sauce, bleu cheese, and cream cheese.

The Big Chicken location at Climate Pledge Arena will be the first-ever in-arena location for the chain. The fast-casual chicken joint created by Shaq has two other locations — one in Las Vegas just off the Las Vegas Strip, and one in Glendale, California.

At Climate Pledge Arena, Big Chicken will be one of four food and beverage stores equipped with Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology. The arena’s website says this technology will “make the in-arena shopping experience more efficient and cut wait times, so guests can get back to the action faster.”

Climate Pledge Arena — the soon-to-be home of the Seattle Storm and Seattle Kraken — announced its first food partners in May 2021, with a focus on Pacific Northwest flavors and favorites.

The food and beverage program coming to the arena, called “The Climate Collective,” was created with provider Delaware North. A number of local restaurant partners will help “strip away the perception of traditional arena fare,” including: Ballard Pizza Co., Din Tai Fung, Metropolitan Grill, Elliott’s Oyster House, Lil Woody’s, and Just Poke.

The first home game for the Seattle Kraken will be on Oct. 23. But the grand opening for the arena will be a Coldplay concert on Oct. 22.

First, though, the arena will host the Foo Fighters and Death Cab for Cutie on Oct. 19 for a “private” benefit show — of which there’s no mention of on the arena’s website, but there is a Ticketmaster page.

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Shaq to open ‘Big Chicken’ restaurant inside Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena