Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Wizards and Capitals to Leave DC, Raising Stadium Questions for Hoya Men’s Basketball

The Georgetown University men’s basketball team may be on the move, jumping state lines and joining the Wizards and Capitals in Virginia.

On Dec. 12, it was reported that Ted Leonsis (CAS ’77), the CEO and chairman of Monumental Sports and Entertainment and former member of Georgetown University’s Board of Directors, planned to relocate the Washington Wizards of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL) to an entertainment complex in Alexandria, Va.

The following day, Leonsis confirmed the proposed move in an email to fans and supporters.

“Our vision for the Entertainment District is to create a dynamic campus where our Washington Capitals and Wizards play in a state-of-the-art arena, complemented by a performing arts venue, new retail outlets, restaurants and community spaces — easily accessible by metro and a variety of other transportation options,” Leonsis wrote.

In addition to providing a reimagined, modern home for the Wizards and Capitals, the complex would include a production facility and the headquarters for Monumental. The company manages several Washington, D.C. franchises, including the Wizards, Capitals and the Washington Mystics of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA); owns and operates Capital One Arena; and exclusively streams the events on television.

The project is set to begin in 2025, with hopes of completion by 2028. In the meantime, the Wizards and Capitals will continue to play at Capital One Arena, their home since 1997.

Prior to the announcement, Leonsis and D.C. officials had been discussing the city’s potential contributions toward stadium renovations. Leonsis requested $600 million in public funds if the Wizards and Capitals were to remain in their current downtown arena.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser immediately countered the news with the launch of a new bill offering $500 million to Monumental to cover construction work on Capital One Arena.

Victoria Pickering/Flickr | Monumental Sports CEO Ted Leonsis’ (CAS ’77) plans to build a new stadium in Alexandria have cast questions over whether the Georgetown men’s basketball program will stay at Capital One Arena.

The potential move to Alexandria raises major questions about the future of Capital One Arena, which holds major implications for the future home of Georgetown hoops.

Although no conversations with university officials have taken place, a study by the office of Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin found that the new stadium would need 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.

Already a three-mile commute from the university to Capital One Arena, a shift out of the city that requires additional travel time could further deplete Georgetown’s weak school spirit.

Alec Hill (CAS ’26), a Hoya Blue member, acknowledged the benefits of Capital One Arena which would be lost with a potential move.

“Aside from the actual arena, the location of Capital One really encourages students to come out, from the beautiful holiday market this winter to the restaurants and bars that upper schoolers take advantage of before and after the game,” Hill wrote to The Hoya. “I think that it would be a real shame to lose the lovely location in Chinatown that we have.”

Remaining at Capital One Arena will likely be an option as well. In his email to fans, Leonsis said he plans to continue to invest in the building and would like to explore a Mystics move into the stadium, as WNBA viewership continues to rise. 

No matter the path, the university plans to continue its fruitful relationship with Monumental.

“Georgetown University, the District of Columbia and Monumental Sports and Entertainment have celebrated a successful partnership for many years,” a university spokesperson wrote to The Hoya. “We will continue to work with both the District and Monumental to ensure the best home for Georgetown men’s basketball.”

Speculatively, an unlikely but possible next step for Georgetown men’s hoops could be a return to campus at McDonough Arena, where the Hoyas played from 1951 to 1981 (then McDonough Gymnasium). McDonough also serves as the home of the university’s women’s basketball team. 

Although likely requiring some sort of expansion to accommodate television equipment and a larger fan base, students would likely appreciate the convenience.

As Georgetown’s men’s basketball continues to grow in its ongoing rebuild, the future location of its home games will be something to watch.

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