Virginia Legislature Stalls Wizards, Capitals Arena Plan

Ted Leonsis’s announcement that his NBA and NHL teams would move to Alexandria, Virginia, appears premature as the deal faces opposition from the Virginia General Assembly and lacks necessary approvals, putting the future location of the Washington Wizards and Capitals in uncertainty.

Ted Leonsis dropped a bombshell. His NBA and NHL teams, he said, were packing up for Alexandria. But, hold on. Maybe he jumped the gun.

In December, there was this big announcement. The Washington Wizards and Capitals were all set to move to Alexandria, Virginia. But, and it’s a big but, they needed a thumbs-up from the Virginia General Assembly.

Then came a snag. Virginia’s governor, Glenn Youngkin, wasn’t playing ball on the arena deal’s details. Now, it looks like the funding bill is on thin ice in the state Senate. Despite the Alexandria mayor and the Virginia governor being on board, local pushback has been a headache. And Ted Leonsis? He’s not hiding his frustration.

Monumental Sports Company, the big name behind the Wizards, Capitals, and the WNBA’s Mystics, had plans. Big plans. They wanted to set up shop in the Potomac Yards neighborhood, right by the river. The deal? They’d chip in $403M towards a whopping $2B project. Alexandria would throw in $106M, with the rest coming from state tax revenues. Sounds straightforward, right?

But here’s the kicker. State legislators aren’t exactly thrilled about dipping into sales and personal income taxes to cover the bonds. And now, the Washington teams are in a bit of a pickle. They’ve been trying to play Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. against each other. But without some give-and-take from Monumental, that strategy’s looking like a dead end.

Leonsis, with his hefty $2.8B net worth, might need to rethink his strategy. Heading back to D.C. could be on the cards, or maybe a second round with Virginia. But with his basketball team’s dismal 9-43 record and a hockey team that’s not exactly setting the world on fire, he’s not exactly in a strong bargaining position. And it seems like the appetite for funding billionaire-owned stadiums is waning around the nation’s capital.

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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