On Friday, Drew Hansen of the Washington Business Journal reported that Monumental Sports is considering a Southeast D.C. site to be the location for a new off-site basketball practice facility that the Wizards and Mystics will use. The site will be located at the location of the former St. Elizabeths Hospital.
The St. Elizabeths site is one of three final locations that are in consideration, which Monumental hopes to make a decision on before the start of the Wizards' season. In April, Monumental Sports was considering a site on Howard University's campus in Northwest D.C. Jonathan O'Connell of The Washington Post added on Friday that a site in Silver Spring, Maryland is the third location.
One of the things that Monumental, and Ted Leonsis specifically wanted to do with a practice facility was to revive communities along the Anacostia River. The St. Elizabeths site is pretty close to the river, and also near many of the city's poorest neighborhoods, where the facility could also serve as a community center of sorts, not unlike Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington. Perhaps that site may have the upper hand in some respects.
Speaking about Kettler, the impact that facility has had in Arlington is something that Monumental wants to replicate with the basketball facility. To me at least, I am eagerly waiting for an announcement that the facility will be built altogether because these facilities are a draw for free agents and retention tools for current players.
For more on the practice facility talks, check out our StoryStream.