Monumental Sports CEO issues letter on Wizards, Caps move amid local criticism & concerns
by 7News Staff
Thursday, Jan 25th 2024
Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Wizards NBA basketball team and Washington Capitals HNL hockey team, speaks during an event with Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin to announce plans for a new sports stadium for the teams, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023, in Alexandria, Va. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has reached a tentative agreement with the parent company of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals to move those teams from the District of Columbia to what he called a new “visionary sports and entertainment venue” in northern Virginia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
WASHINGTON (7News) —
The CEO of Monumental Sports and Entertainment (MSE) stated on Thursday his commitment to the DMV in a message hoping to clarify plans to develop a new entertainment complex in the Potomac Yard community in Alexandria, Virginia, following frustration from some fans and locals.
The month since MSE’s Ted Leonsis and Virginia leaders rejoiced in a proposal to move the Capitals and Wizards arena out of D.C. and into Virginia, Leonsis said he has heard from both sides on their thoughts about the public-private partnership. 7News in recent weeks has covered numerous reactions from leaders and community members across the region.
In his lengthy statement, Leonsis justifies his location choice by calling the region a “supercity.”
“Like many of you, each day when I drive to the office, I pass through Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC. I believe our region is uniquely positioned to compete with other large metropolitan areas, like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. In the DMV, if one wins, we all win. This was true with Amazon HQ2, and I believe it will be true with our project as well. This project will bring together fans across the Greater Washington region to bring to life a collective vision for Potomac Yard and create exceptional experiences and regional economic growth for decades to come,” part of the statement read.
Leonsis added that between the Capitals and the Wizards, Virginia fans made up 44% of game attendees, Md. fans made up 41%, and 15% from D.C. He wrote the new complex would also be able to cater to more people both inside and outside, with the complex taking up 12 acres compared to Capitol One Arena’s three acres.
“Monumental Sports & Entertainment has always been about the entire DMV,” Leonsis wrote in a statement.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment will contribute over $400 million to the Potomac Yards project, according to Leonsis.
“Professional sports teams are realizing that to build championship-level contenders, an outsized investment in space is required,” said Leonsis. “…this unique plot of land in Alexandria is mere miles from downtown Washington, DC, along the Potomac River, incredibly accessible to fans, and next to a metro stop. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our company.”
Leonisis added that Monumental Sports and Entertainment will continue to support D.C. although they’re eyeing a new future for their teams.
“Just as Monumental Sports & Entertainment was part of the initial renaissance of downtown Washington, DC, we would like to be part of the next renaissance,” Leonsis added.