A panel of Virginia lawmakers signed off on a plan to build an “entertainment anchored mixed-use development” in Alexandria’s Potomac Yard neighborhood that could be the next home for the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals.
The deal, reported first by The Washington Post, would need the full approval of the Virginia General Assembly and the Alexandria City Council.
Under the proposal, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the basketball and hockey teams, as well as the Washington Mystics and Capital City Go-Go, would lease an arena from a Virginia stadium authority that would need to be created.
Monumental owner Ted Leonsis has made it known that the Capital One Arena in DC’s Chinatown neighborhood is out-of-date and that he’s unhappy with the quality of life nearby. He’s asked DC’s government for $600 million to overhaul the facility.
Leonsis has not committed to the deal that the Post said would give Monumental a 30-year lease on the property. To move out of DC, Monumental would need to complete a complex, multimillion dollar transaction involving a bonds and a ground lease.
The mixed-use development proposed for Alexandria would include a 3,000-seat music and entertainment venue, a conference center, hotels, and a headquarters for Monumental.
Bringing the Wizards and Capitals to Alexandria would give the state something it does not have: a major league sports franchise.
The move could be a political win for Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Last year, there had been bipartisan support to offer tax incentives to bring the Commanders football team to the commonwealth. The plan fell apart over concerns about then-owner Dan Snyder and costs. The Commanders practice in Ashburn.
Related to the Commanders, the Washington Business Journal reports that the team is moving its business operations from Maryland’s FedEx field to College Park.
Feature image courtesy Washington Capitals Photography
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