Could the Wizards be building a brand new $30-40 million practice center in the heart of the District? Recent tweets from NBC's Mark Seagraves teasing tonight's broadcast indicate that is what is being proposed.
A new $30 - $40 million training facility for the @WashWizards could be coming to the Shaw neighborhood in NW DC.— Mark Segraves (@SegravesNBC4) November 7, 2014
Proposed @WashWizards training facility would be located where Shaw skate park is now. 5000 seat facility could be home to @WashMystics— Mark Segraves (@SegravesNBC4) November 7, 2014
Proposed $30-40 million @WashWizards training facility could be paid for through tax increase on ticket sales.— Mark Segraves (@SegravesNBC4) November 7, 2014
Ted Leonsis has made clear his desire to move the Wizards to an off site practice facility near the Verizon Center. The Washington Post reported in January that Leonsis wanted somewhere, "accessible to public transit and potentially similar to the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston, where the Washington Capitals (another Leonsis team) practice."
The site at Shaw would certainly seem to fit the bill, lying conveniently at Rhode Island and 11th St, NW near the Green Line. It's unclear how much of the site would be used, which currently consists of a skate park, a dog park, a baseball/soccer field and outdoor basketball courts. Currently, the Wizards practice onsite at the Verizon Center.
One big plus to having a separate practice facility? According to Brett Fuller, whose company helped design the Cavaliers practice facility:
"Regardless of the scenarios, as part of the building or as a stand-alone separate facility, they need to attract free agents, they need to have this be an experience - it's almost like recruiting a student athlete to college. If you're a free agent, and you're going to sign a contract for millions of dollars of a year, and you feel like that team is going to take care of you in all aspects of mind, body and convenience - you might choose that team," he added.