Washington Caps and Wizards Staying Put In DC

Washington, D.C. (Wednesday, March 27, 2024) – The District has struck a deal with the owner of the Washington Capitals and Wizards to keep the two teams in DC through 2050. News of the deal came on the same day the City of Alexandria announced it had ended negotiations to bring the teams to Potomac Yard. Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin blamed personal and political agendas for killing the Alexandria deal.

While some Virginia leaders were licking their wounds, many DC leaders were rejoicing in the city’s big win. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, and Ted Leonsis – Chief Executive Officer of Monumental Sports & Entertainment joined forces Wednesday afternoon at the Capitol One Arena to announce the $515 million dollar commitment to expand the arena into a state-of-the-art downtown facility. “We made a great offer – and kept that offer on the table – because we have known all along that this is a win-win for our city and the teams. This is a catalytic investment in Downtown DC. We are excited to have Monumental as our partners in DC’s Comeback and we look forward to working together to win for DC, said Bowser.

“I look at outcomes, not process, and we got to the right outcome,” said Ted Leonsis. “I know this was a difficult process and I want people to understand how much I love Washington D.C. and how much I’ve always loved Washington D.C. Mayor Bowser and her team heard us and worked with us and gave us the tools for us to meet the needs of our business to expand right here in downtown. We are going to have time to talk about our experience in Virginia, but that is not today. Today is about staying in D.C. and is about what the Mayor and Council have done in downtown D.C. We got to this place because we kept an honest dialogue with the Mayor and her staff and we both took the high road as we didn’t know how things would end. This is more than an investment from the city – it’s a true partnership demonstrated by all of these investments which the city has committed to for our fans to have an exceptional gameday experience.”

The District of Columbia Government will provide $515 million toward the project.

Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks during a news conference at Capitol One Arena in Washington, Wednesday, March 27, 2024.(AP Photo/Stephanie Scarbrough)

“Monumental Sports has been a great partner with the District since acquiring the Arena nearly 14 years ago. We’re ecstatic to keep them as a cornerstone of our Downtown. As we’ve said all along: our government is able to move quickly and follow through on our commitment,” said Chairman Mendelson. “With the extended relationship with Monumental, we’re looking forward to the reinvigoration of Gallery Place/Chinatown.”

It is estimated with a total projected cost of approximately $800 million, the complete renovation will encompass extensive upgrades to the arena designed to modernize and improve the overall fan experience, as well as expand retail and concessions and improve the flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Bowser says the aforementioned will mean that Monumental Sports & Entertainment can continue to attract top-tier events. The project will also drive increased tourism and revenue, thereby benefiting local businesses, not to mention new construction and other job opportunities.