Design & Development

Virginia lawmakers back plans to bring Capitals, Wizards to new arena

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Lawmakers in Virginia have reportedly backed a proposal to build a new arena to attract the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals.

The two teams, which are owned by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, currently play at Capital One Arena (pictured) in Washington, D.C. The new arena in Virginia would be based in the city of Alexandria, just over eight miles from D.C.

The Washington Post, citing people with knowledge of the situation, has reported that a group of lawmakers in Virginia yesterday (Monday) voted in favour of a deal to bring the two teams to Alexandria.

The Post notes that the plans would require approval from the full General Assembly and local officials. The arena would form part of a wider mixed-use development in the Potomac Yard area of Alexandria.

Monumental would reportedly lease the complex from a new stadium authority that would be set up if the plans come to fruition. Virginia is the most populous US state without a major-league franchise and officials have previously expressed an interest in building a new stadium for the NFL’s Washington Commanders.

In July, Monumental received a minority investment from the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). Reports at the time suggested that QIA had acquired 5% of the company in a deal worth around $200m (£159m/€185m).

Capital One Arena opened in 1997 and the Post has reported that Monumental is seeking $600m in public funds for a major renovation of the facility. Capital One Arena would continue to host college basketball games and concerts if the Virginia plans progress.

In a statement reported by the Post and issued before yesterday’s vote, a Monumental spokesperson said: “Monumental Sports & Entertainment is committed to delivering the best fan experience, winning championships, giving back to our communities, and becoming the most valuable regional sports and entertainment enterprise in the world so that we can continue to reinvest in our fans and community. Our commitment to the DMV is unwavering and we look forward to sharing plans for future investments.”

As well as the new NBA and NHL arena, the proposed Virginia complex would feature a smaller concert venue. Monumental would reportedly have a 30-year lease for its teams to play at the arena.