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There’s No Place Like Home: Mayor Bowser, DC Council, and Monumental Reach Agreement to Transform Capital One Arena in Downtown DC

Wednesday, March 27, 2024
Mayor Bowser, DC Council, and Monumental Reach Agreement to Transform Capital One Arena in Downtown DC

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Chairman Phil Mendelson and Members of the Council of the District of Columbia, and Chief Executive Officer of Monumental Sports & Entertainment Ted Leonsis announced that they have reached a deal to transform and expand the Capital One Arena into a state-of-the-art urban arena that will be the home of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals through 2050.

“We are going to have a state-of-the-art urban arena in Downtown DC and that’s a great deal for DC, for the teams, and for the fans,” said Mayor Bowser. “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.”

“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 catalytic project, underscoring the District’s commitment to the complete renovation of the arena and the transformation of Downtown DC. Ensuring the arena’s continued prominence as a premier destination for sports, concerts, and events will anchor Gallery Place/Chinatown as a world-class entertainment district in Downtown DC.

“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.”

With a total projected cost at approximately $800 million, the complete renovation will encompass extensive upgrades to the arena that modernize and improve the overall fan experience, as well as expand retail and concessions and improve the flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic so 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.

“Keeping the Wizards and Capitals in our Nation’s Capital has always been the right move for the vitality of our downtown. Our residents want the entertainment and sports programming the venue brings, as well as expanded access to job and economic opportunities for decades to come,” said At-Large Councilmember and Chair of the Committee on Business and Economic Development Kenyan McDuffie. “I look forward to working with the teams and our communities as we build the right future for the Arena and DC.”

The Capital One Arena modernization and expansion places a strong emphasis on continuing Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s commitment to community engagement and provides a renewed focus on youth and family. Enhanced accessibility features will ensure that the arena remains accessible and welcoming to individuals of all backgrounds and abilities. Collaborative initiatives with local organizations will promote youth development and wellness programs, fostering a sense of unity and empowerment within the community.

With the District of Columbia Government’s substantial investment, coupled with a commitment to community engagement and economic development, the project is poised to redefine the arena’s role as a catalyst for a strong comeback in the nation’s capital.


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