#SBS24 next month in Manchester! Welcome Wembley Stadium, Oxford United, Juventus FC, Sodexo Live!, Croke Park, Sviby, Stadio Algarve, Keppie Design, Everbank Stadium, Kulture City, PAM, Duracell/Procell, Trusts Arena, Worldpay, Suncorp Stadium... Join them
Driving your revenues, sustainability and fan experience: #SBS24 – 15th annual TheStadiumBusiness Summit in Manchester on 17-18-19 June

Finance

D.C. Council approves $515m budget for Capital One Arena revamp

The Capital One Arena is set to undergo major renovations after the Council of the District of Columbia approved funding.

Featured image credit: APK/CC BY 4.0

The Capital One Arena is set to undergo major renovations after the Council of the District of Columbia approved funding.

Featured image credit: APK/CC BY 4.0

The Council of the District of Columbia has approved $515m (£407m/€474m) in appropriations to help transform the Capital One Arena, which is home to the National Basketball Association’s Washington Wizards and National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals.

The Council voted unanimously to allocate the money over the next three years. The funds will not only go towards the renovation of the 20,356-seat venue but also to the expansion of Monumental Sports and Entertainment in the surrounding area.

Some councilmembers are said to be wary of the decision after seeing Mayor Muriel Bowser’s provision agreement with Ted Leonsis, chief executive of Monumental Sports and Entertainment (MSE) which owns the two sports teams.

The vote was made without the chance for public input and came a day before Bowser finalised the city’s fiscal budget for 2025. Funding for the Capital One Arena upgrades are due to come from the district’s capital budget.

“We are grateful to the Council for passing legislation that builds a true partnership between the District and Monumental Sports to revitalise downtown in an integrated way for our fans and the community,” MSE officials said in a statement.

“Our shared vision for a transformational entertainment district that is a destination for neighbours and visitors will ensure the vibrancy of downtown for years to come.”

A number of councilmembers are thought to be worried that the Mayor conceded too much bargaining power to Leonsis.

Leonsis had initially planned to move the teams to Alexandria in Virginia but plans were dropped last week.

The agreement between the two includes a measure exempting MSE from any future taxes that would benefit another sports franchise. This would include a hypothetical tax that could be levied on businesses to build a new American football stadium.

This could mean additional costs on top of the $515m and cut into resources for city programmes.