News & Politics

Capitals and Wizards Will Reportedly Stay in DC as Alexandria Declares Arena Deal Dead

The city may spend $515 million to keep the teams at Capital One Arena until 2050.

The area around Capital One Arena. Photograph by Evy Mages .

The Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards will stay in DC, the Washington Post reports. That deal, which could see the city spend $515 million to upgrade Capital One Arena in exchange for the teams continuing to play there until 2050, is expected to be announced Wednesday.

The agreement between Ted Leonsis, whose company Monumental Sports & Entertainment owns both teams, and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser would still need to be approved by the DC Council. The city recently offered Monumental $500 million to keep the teams downtown.

Under the terms of the deal, the Post reports, the city would allow Leonsis to take over management of the Mystics home facility in Southeast, utilize parking at some District-owned buildings for Monumental employees, keep a minimum number of police officers downtown, and plan for a new future downtown practice facility for the Wizards.

News of the DC deal comes as the City of Alexandria said in a statement that it has “ended negotiations related to the Potomac Yard Entertainment District opportunity and the proposal will not move forward.” The Virginia proposal, which would have moved the Caps and Wizards to a new arena in Potomac Yard as part of an “entertainment district,” ran into a buzzsaw of opposition in the state’s General Assembly. That saw was largely operated by State Senator L. Louise Lucas of Portsmouth, who fought what she called the “Glenn Dome,” a swipe at Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, who backed the project.

The Virginia proposal would have funded the arena via the creation of a sports authority that would have issued bonds to pay for the project. Alyia Gaskins, a member of the Alexandria City Council who is currently running for mayor, said on Bluesky Wednesday that while she believed the arena and entertainment district would bring 30,000 jobs to the city, any project would require commitments to union jobs, affordable housing improvements, as well as funding for Metro and other transportation options. “We’ve seen ‘frameworks’ and ‘proposals,’ she wrote, “but not a single term sheet, financial package, or written agreement.”

With the plan on life support in the Virginia legislature, Youngkin and Leonsis balked at a last-minute plan to build an arena alongside a casino in Fairfax. “We are disappointed this proposal was not able to be thoughtfully considered on its merits by legislators, stakeholders, and ultimately now our community and instead got caught up in partisan warfare in Richmond,” Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson said in a video statement Wednesday. Alexandria will pursue other commercial opportunities in the future, he said.

Leonsis reportedly also has talked to Maryland Governor Wes Moore about moving the Capitals and Wizards to his state—a possibility that also seems dead, at least until 2050.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.