There has been a lot of talk about the Washington Wizards’ and Capitals’ planned move to Alexandria in 2028. Our own Matt Modderno also had Wizards insider Troy Halliburton on the Bleav in Wizards podcast yesterday. Click here to watch.
But one of the overlooked details about the arena move is about the future of the Washington Mystics. They are planned to move back to Capital One Arena in 2028 assuming the Wizards’ and Capitals’ moves work out. The Mystics recently moved to the 4,200 seat Entertainment and Sports Arena in 2019, in part because Capital One Arena was too big for them at the time. So … what gives?
Kareem Copeland of The Washington Post interviewed John Thompson, III, Senior Vice President of Monumental Basketball for answers in article that was published yesterday. What Thompson said is actually good news about the Mystics.
His answer was that the Mystics have outgrown ESA. Demand for tickets is up, not just in D.C., but leaguewide. Viewership is also up leaguewide. And Washington averaged more fans in 2023 than their official capacity — even with a team that was merely in the playoff pack.
In Copeland’s article, Thompson said that the Mystics’ anticipated return would give them “an opportunity to multiply that more than twofold.”
That’s because Capital One Arena would install flexible seating that could make the arena’s capacity range from 10,000 to 20,000. Presumably, that means that a 10,000 seat event wouldn’t simply be curtaining off the upper bowl, but we shall see.
In addition to the news about Capital One Arena, Copeland reported that the Mystics’ practice facility will remain at the MedStar Health Performance Center, adjacent to ESA. Thompson also added that though the Mystics and Wizards will eventually have different places to receive services, there won’t be any drop in the quality of service the players get.
Do you agree with Thompson’s statement? I think the new arena move isn’t bad news for the Mystics. However, like what Matt implied on his podcast with Troy yesterday with the Wizards and the new arena, the Mystics’ return to Capital One Arena may implicitly put a timetable on any rebuild they have to do. After all, Elena Delle Donne is at the twilight of her career, or at least she is injury prone. And they can use more young talent in multiple positions.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.