D.C. Poised To Lose Two Professional Sports Teams To Virginia
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin answers questions following the announcement of a new sports arena for the Washington Wizards NBA basketball team and Washington Capitals NHL hockey team, December 13, 2023 in Alexandria, Virginia.
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Two professional sports teams that have played in Washington, D.C., for decades would move to nearby Virginia as part of a $2 billion tentative plan announced on Wednesday.

The proposal, if approved, would move the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals to a new arena in the city of Alexandria at Potomac Yard by 2028 as part of an entertainment district, their parent company Monumental Sports & Entertainment said in a statement.

“We are committed to providing world-class fan experiences while continuously evolving our teams, deepening community ties, and solidifying our role as leaders at the forefront of sports and technology,” said owner Ted Leonsis.

“The opportunity to expand to this 70-acre site in Virginia, neighboring industry-leading innovators, and a great academic partner, would enable us to further our creativity and achieve next-generation, leading work – all while keeping our fans and the community at the forefront of everything we do,” he added.

Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin said the broader public-private partnership was worth $2 billion and would include a performing arts venue, esports facility, and mixed-use development in addition to facilities for Monumental Sports & Entertainment and its properties.

“This is the most visionary sports and entertainment development in the world, bringing together entertainment, sports, and technology in the most advanced innovation corridor in the United States: a once-in-a-generation and historic development for the Commonwealth, sports fans, and all Virginians,” Youngkin said. “The Commonwealth will now be home to two professional sports teams, a new corporate headquarters, and over 30,000 new jobs – this is monumental.”


Officials in D.C., which has been rocked by a surge in crime this past year, announced a bid late Tuesday to keep the teams in the nation’s capital with legislation that would provide financing of $500 million toward the $800 million renovation of the Capital One Arena, which opened in Chinatown in 1997 as the MCI Center, over a period of three years beginning in 2024.

“Downtown DC is the District’s economic engine that provides revenue resources to support important programs in the city. Mr. Leonsis and Monumental Sports have been critical partners in keeping our downtown thriving, especially after the pandemic. The modernization of the Capital One Arena will be an invaluable investment for continued success and our future prosperity,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement.

“This proposal represents our best and final offer and is the next step in partnering with Monumental Sports to breathe new life and vibrancy into the neighborhood and to keep the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals where they belong – in Washington, DC,” she continued.

While the proposal to move the Wizards and Capitals to Virginia still needs to be finalized, pending legislation and “definitive” documents, Monument said another of its teams could potentially make a return to Capital One Arena: the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.

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