Capitals, Wizards to remain at Capital One Arena as Potomac Yard proposal falls through

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WASHINGTON — Washington city officials and Ted Leonsis announced the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards will remain at Capital One Arena instead of moving to Potomac Yard in Alexandria, Va.

“We are going to have time to talk about our experience in Virginia, but that is not today,” Leonsis said in a statement. “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 (Muriel Bowser) 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 deal includes plans to modernize Capital One Arena and add nearly 200,000 square feet of space throughout the arena and in the Gallery Place building next door. D.C. will provide an additional $15 million towards improving the alley connecting Gallery Place to Capital One Arena.

The deal also includes a new Wizards practice facility, improving safety by having 17 police officers around the arena on event nights, developing premium hospitality options for fans and establishing better transportation options for employees and fans.

The announcement comes after Alexandria mayor Justin M. Wilson said Tuesday afternoon that his city will no longer consider a proposal to bring the Capitals and Wizards to Potomac Yard.

“We are disappointed that this proposal was not able to be thoughtfully considered on its merits by legislators, stakeholders and ultimately now by our community and instead got caught up in partisan warfare in Richmond,” Wilson said in a video statement posted to X.

“As a result, the city of Alexandria will no longer be considering the current proposal and will instead turn our focus to other efforts to bring quality commercial opportunities to the community in the future to both diversify our tax base and protect our quality of life.”

In December, Leonsis, who is the founder, chairman and CEO of Monumental Sports and Entertainment, Alexandria officials and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced they had reached the “framework of an agreement” on a new entertainment district that, if approved by Virginia’s legislature, also would include a performing-arts venue, a new practice facility for the Wizards and a new studio for Monumental Sports Network.

But that plan encountered a roadblock in the Virginia Senate. L. Louise Lucas, the chairwoman of the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee, is a key lawmaker who opposes the deal. Tuesday afternoon on X, Lucas posted, in part “we are celebrating in Virginia that we avoided the Monumental Disaster!”

In a statement, Youngkin said: “Virginians deserve better. A one-of-a-kind project bringing world-class athletes and entertainment, creating 30,000 jobs and $12 billion in economic activity just went up in smoke. This transformational project would have driven investment to every corner of the Commonwealth.”

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(Photo: Patrick Smith / Getty Images)

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