Monumental seeks $600 million for Capital One Arena revamp, report says
The owners of Capital One Arena want the D.C. government to contribute $600 million toward a major renovation, the Washington Post reports, citing two sources.
Why it matters: The big ask from Monumental Sports & Entertainment — owner of the Wizards, Capitals, and Mystics — comes as the city debates the future of downtown and whether to spend public dollars on building a new stadium for the Commanders.
Driving the news: Monumental wants the $600 million to fund an overhaul of the arena that would begin in 2024 and incrementally advance over four summers, one person familiar with the situation told the Post. Monumental would invest an additional $200 million.
The changes would mean:
- "Fewer nosebleed seats" and more seats closer to the gameplay, per the Post.
- A new food court open outside of game time.
- A new glassy entrance at 7th and F streets NW.
Zoom out: Ted Leonsis, who leads Monumental, had expressed displeasure with the safety and quality of life surrounding the arena in Chinatown, Axios reported early this year.
- Monumental has paid for off-duty officers and pushed for improvements.
The intrigue: Monumental is in negotiations with Virginia to relocate the arena to a site in Potomac Yard in Alexandria, near Amazon HQ2 and a new Virginia Tech campus, the Post reported.
What they're saying: Monumental is "committed to delivering the best fan experience" and "will continue to make decisions with these goals in mind," the company said in a statement to Axios.
Flashback: In 2019, Monumental completed a $70 million upgrade to Capital One Arena. The company now wants upgrades that include changes to the ceiling to host bigger events.
What we're watching: Some lawmakers, including council chair Phil Mendelson, appear more open to spending taxpayer dollars on improving Capital One Arena than building a new football stadium at RFK.
- Mayor Muriel Bowser, who's championing a new football stadium, and Leonsis have a strained relationship, the two sources told the Post.
- Bowser told the Post in a statement that "Capital One Arena serves as an important economic anchor" for downtown.
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