Leonsis Stays In DC

FILE- In this April 17, 2021, file photo, Washington Capitals' Zdeno Chara controls the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Saturday, in Philadelphia. Chara is returning to the team he started his career with after agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with the New York Islanders. It will be the 44-year-old 24th NHL season. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola, File)

Leonsis’ Caps and Wizards businesses remain in Washington, D. C. until 2050.

That was quick. The owner of the National Basketball Association’s Washington Wizards and the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals, Ted Leonsis, is not moving the two franchises across the Potomac River to Alexandria, Virginia. Instead Leonsis’s business will remain in Washington, D. C. Leonsis will be able to build an entertainment district around the present arena The deal will keep Leonsis’s business in Washington, D. C. through 2050. Leonsis wanted to build a stadium-village in Alexandria and had support from Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. But Virigina commonwealth elected officials did not think Leonsis’s plan was financially sound and didn’t bother to pursue the agreement Leonsis reached with Youngkin.

For Youngkin, it was the second time that he has struck out in attempt to land one of the Washington area’s major league sports team. Youngkin went after Dan Snyder’s National Football League’s Washington Commanders franchise. Youngkin wanted to make a deal with the former NFL owner but nothing every materialized. Snyder eventually would sell his franchise to Joel Harris and his group. Harris is looking to replace his present stadium in Landover, Maryland. Harris is apparently talking to Washington D. C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, to Virginia elected officials and Maryland officials in an attempt to find money and land to build a new facility for his team. Youngkin pushed the Leonsis plan as an economic windfall for the northern Virginia city. It would have been a large stadium-village complete with an arena, retail, office and retail space and the project would have cost at least $2 billion but it was unclear how much of that tab would have been picked up by Virginia taxpayers. Youngkin, a Republican, blamed Virginia Democrats for the project’s demise. Virginia has big time college sports, some minor league franchises but no major league teams.

Ted Leonsis

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