Designs released for Washington's new basketball arena

The design concepts for a new sports and entertainment arena in the Congress Heights neighbourhood of Washington, DC have been unveiled by Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia.

Events DC will operate the 4,200-capacity arena, which will serve as the home of Women’s National Basketball Association team the Washington Mystics. It will mark the first WNBA-dedicated arena in the league. International design firm Rossetti led the design renderings for the arena alongside DC-based Marshall Moya Design.

A practice facility for men’s NBA team the Washington Wizards will also be located in the space within the greater arena. The multi-functional space will combine sports, entertainment and community programming with neighbourhood-serving resources.

Other events to be staged at the arena will include esports and boxing matches, as well as music concerts. The arena’s split-bowl design will enable an intimate viewing experience for events such as concerts, while the concourse and lobby areas will be designed to facilitate arts projects and food production programmes, as well as gallery space.

“The most exciting aspects of this project are also the most challenging for the design team,” Tony Reiner, design lead at Rossetti, said. “We had to be very strategic in order to design welcoming spaces for the community while integrating the private spaces that professional basketball players require.

“We were also careful to reflect the context of the building’s environment and imagine how the building will evolve under Events DC’s operation for future uses.”

The stadium is being built in partnership with Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Mystics and the Wizards.