Wizards To Remain In D.C., Virginia Talks Dead

5:40pm: Monumental Sports confirmed in a press release that it has reached an agreement with the District of Columbia to keep the Wizards and Capitals in their current home downtown.

I look at outcomes, not process, and we got to the right outcome,” said Leonsis. “I know this was a difficult process and I want people to understand how much I love Washington D.C. and how much I’ve always loved Washington D.C.

5:34pm: In December, Monumental Sports, the Ted Leonsis-led company that owns the Wizards, announced a plan to move from the District of Columbia to Alexandria, Virginia.

However, the plan never seemed to gain any traction in the Virginia legislature, and it faced opposition from powerful labor unions in the area. A couple weeks ago, the deal was said to be on life support after the proposal to build a new arena and “entertainment district” was removed from the state’s 2024 budget.

On Wednesday, the city of Alexandria announced in a press release that it has ended negotiations on the deal that would have moved the Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals to the Potomac Yard area.

According to Jonathan O’Connell, Teo Armus, Gregory S. Schneider and Michael Brice-Saddler of The Washington Post, Leonsis and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday they were finalizing a deal that would keep the Wizards and Capitals in Capital One Arena until 2050, pending approval of the D.C. Council.

The proposal includes $515MM from D.C. to assist with Leonsis’ efforts to modernize the arena. The plan also addresses some of Leonsis’ concerns about his ability to grow his businesses, as well as crime in the downtown area near the arena.

As the Post’s authors write, the tentative agreement seems quite similar to one that Leonsis rejected in December, as the 13-member D.C. Council approved $500MM in upgrades for the arena just a few months ago.

Leonsis and Bowser had remained in regular contact despite the proposed plan to move to Virginia, per the Post’s report.

We appreciated our discussions about how we could grow together,” Bowser said, adding that, “it became very clear about how our community feels about our teams” following Leonsis’ December announcement.

Virginia House Speaker Don Scott confirmed to Sarah Rankin, Matthew Barakat and Stephen Whyno of The Associated Press that he has been told Leonsis is no longer considering moving the teams out of D.C.

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