- Leonsis is considering moving his franchises out to Alexandria, Virginia
- DC Mayor Muriel Bowser pledged $500m in a last-ditch effort to keep the teams
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The billionaire owner of the Washington Capitals of the NHL and the Washington Wizards of the NBA is on the verge of moving his teams out of the nation’s capital and across the Potomac River.
Ted Leonsis is set to announce at a press conference on Wednesday that he will be moving the two franchises out of its current home – Capital One Arena in downtown DC – to a newly developed arena in the DC suburb of Alexandria, Virginia.
Virginia State lawmakers approved the funding and the plans to build an arena in the city’s Potomac Yard Neighborhood, according to the Washington Post.
But a final vote is needed in order to pass the 8,000-square-foot project site.
That’s left the city of DC to make one final push – which it got through the mayor’s office announcing late Tuesday that it approved up to $500m of funding for a renovation of Capital One Arena.
Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Washington Capitals and Wizards, could move the teams
After over 25 years at Capital One Arena, the teams could leave for Alexandria, Virginia
But DC Mayor Muriel Bowser pledged $500m to go to renovations for Capital One Arena
‘Mr. Leonsis and [his company] Monumental Sports have been critical partners in keeping our downtown thriving, especially after the pandemic,’ DC mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement announcing the funding.
‘The modernization of Capital One Arena will be an invaluable investment for continued success and our future prosperity.
‘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.’
Leonsis has cited the need for $800m worth of renovations to the arena in order to keep it up with modern needs.
Opened in 1997, Capital One Arena is only the 16th oldest building in the NHL and the 10th oldest in the NBA.
Before that, the Wizards and Capitals played in Landover, Maryland at the Capital Centre.
In addition to Leonsis’s teams, Capital One Arena is home to the men’s basketball team of Georgetown University.
Monumental’s lease for the building expires in 2027.