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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Never a Doubt: Wizards and Capitals Reverse Course, Plan to Remain in D.C.

The Georgetown men’s basketball team will continue to play at Capital One Arena, as team ownership and the District came to a renovation project agreement, ending speculation that the Hoyas would follow the Wizards and Capitals to a new stadium in northern Virginia.
Flickr | The Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals will remain at Capital One Arena, following an agreement between Monumental Sports and Entertainment and the D.C. Mayor.

The Georgetown University men’s basketball team will retain its home court at Capital One Arena for the foreseeable future as the Wizards and Capitals have decided they will remain in Washington, D.C., ending speculation that the Hoyas would follow the professional teams to a new stadium in northern Virginia.

Ted Leonsis (CAS ’77), the founder, chairman and CEO of Monumental Sports and Entertainment and a former member of Georgetown University’s Board of Directors, and D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser announced an agreement March 27 that would keep both teams competing in Capital One Arena through 2050

Monumental Sports and Entertainment manages several D.C. franchises, including the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Washington Mystics of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The company also owns and operates Capital One Arena and exclusively streams all events on the Monumental Sports Network and its accompanying app. 

The D.C. City Council approved the plan unanimously on April 2, solidifying the agreement.

The deal puts forth $515 million in city funding for the project. The renovations are set to include a 200,000-square-foot expansion into Gallery Place, as well as the creation of an entertainment district in the Chinatown neighborhood and improvements to the existing safety and transportation infrastructure.

Capital One Arena, the home of the Wizards and the Capitals since 1997, will be fully revitalized, according to the plan.

In an email to fans and supporters, Leonsis described these improvements, which he expects to attract more visitors from the District, Maryland and Virginia.

“We expect to create new viewing options, better and different sight lines, more comfortable seating, upgrade technical and functional infrastructure and modernize the building as we shift from an analog to a digital world,” Leonsis wrote.

At a joint press conference to declare the deal, Bowser said the investment into the District will be beneficial for both D.C. and Monumental Sports and Entertainment.

“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,” Bowser said. “This is a catalytic investment in downtown D.C. We are excited to have Monumental as our partners in D.C.’s comeback and we look forward to working together to win for D.C.”

Back in December, Leonsis announced the Wizards and Capitals would relocate to a new entertainment complex in Alexandria, Va. In addition to a state-of-the-art arena, the campus was set to feature a performing arts venue, retail outlets and community spaces. 

The project was set to begin in 2025, with hopes of completion by 2028.

A study by the office of Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R-Va.) dictated that the athletics stadium would have to host 221 events per year — 88 Capitals and Wizards games, 17 Georgetown men’s basketball games, 64 concerts, 30 family shows and 22 other events — to be financially viable. 

However, the agreement stalled in the Democratic-controlled Virginia General Assembly in early March, and lawmakers failed to approve the $2 billion price tag for the entertainment district before the end of their 60-day legislative session.

In the same email, Leonsis said that this state-level limbo held up the prospective relocation to northern Virginia.

“The assertive actions of Mayor Bowser and the D.C. Council juxtaposed against our experience in Virginia evolved our view of the best partner to support the growth of our business,” Leonsis wrote. “In the past three months, the pivot and great work in D.C. were in stark relief from what we ultimately experienced in Virginia.” 

“Contrasted with the open level of collaboration that we now have in D.C., we know we are in the best position to meet the next big objectives for the benefit of our fans,” he added.

Given the collapse of the deal, the Georgetown men’s basketball team is set to continue its play at Capital One Arena for the 2024-25 season, as previously planned.

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About the Contributor
Daniel Greilsheimer
Daniel Greilsheimer, Senior Sports Editor
Daniel Greilsheimer is a sophomore in the SFS from Port Washington, N.Y., studying regional and comparative studies with minors in journalism and environmental science. He is the former Senior Opinion Editor and is still a huge fan of Costco (he's been to locations in seven U.S. states and territories). [email protected]

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