Is Leonsis Looking To Move His Sports Properties To Virginia

Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) and Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Pat Maroon (14) battle for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 30, 2023, in Tampa, Fla.
(AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

Leonsis is talking to Virginia and Washington, DC politicians.

It should come as no surprise that yet another sports owner is looking for public money for either a renovated or a new venue. Ted Leonsis does not own one just one team. Leonsis has the National Basketball Association’s Washington Wizards, the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals and the WNBA’s Washington Mysticks along with other entities under the Monumental Sports and Entertainment umbrella. Leonsis has started kicking the tires in Virginia to see if there is any money available to move his teams to the other side of the Potomac River. Nothing is imminent but Leonsis probably figures it doesn’t hurt to gauge the interest of Virginia politicians who might want to help him get a new building in the commonwealth. Meanwhile Monumental Sports and Entertainment did put out a statement claiming Washington, DC is where it’s arena is located and Leonsis will continue using it.

“We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the arena this year and will continue to invest to build a best-in-class operation for the next 25 years. In the coming year, we plan to invest an additional $80 plus million in building out new office space, state-of-the-art broadcast studios and upgrading the arena’s infrastructure.”  There are no major league games that are played in Virginia although the National Football League’s Washington Commanders organization has its headquarters in the commonwealth. Leonsis’ hockey team practices at a rink in Arlington. Leonsis’ Wizards have a practice facility in southeast Washington and the building houses the Mystics and Leonsis’ Capital City Go-Go franchise of the NBA G League. Leonsis is keeping his Washington option on the table. He met with D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson on June 15th to talk about the need of getting public money to upgrade the building. The arena game has started in the District area.

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Orlando Magic guard Markelle Fultz (20) shoots as Washington Wizards forward Isaac Bonga (17) and forward Deni Avdija (9) defend in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Washington. (Geoff Burke/Pool Photo via AP)