Last week, we had a poll asking you three questions. First, should the Washington Wizards and Capitals play in separate arenas? Second, if the Wizards moved out of Chinatown, where Capital One Arena is, where should they move to? And third, if the Capitals moved out of Chinatown, where should they move to?
In summary, the data was clear. First, out of 181 votes, 75 percent said that the Wizards and Capitals should remain in the same arena.
Most Wizards fans don’t think the Wizards should play in a different arena than the Capitals. pic.twitter.com/9uA1la4q36— Albert Lee (@aleeinthedmv) July 27, 2023
The next two questions asked what jurisdiction would be the best for the Wizards and Capitals, respectively, if they had to move from Chinatown. The plurality of respondents believe that another D.C. neighborhood would be the best option. However, Maryland suburbs, in particular Montgomery County and Prince George’s County (combined 19 percent), were a bit more likely to be listed as ideal locations for the Wizards than the Capitals (combined 16 percent).
The differences became most pronounced with close suburbs in Northern Virginia. While 13 percent believed Arlington County would be an ideal “Plan B” location for the Wizards, 20 percent believed the same with the Capitals.
Pros and Cons of each major jurisdiction close to DC
Here are some of the attractions and drawbacks of the major jurisdictions near and including DC. Pros and cons are rather subjective and aren’t exhaustive. So … let’s go:
- Pros: The Wizards and Capitals play in DC proper, it is centrally located for the entire area. And to be honest, this is the best location for the teams.
- Cons: Capital One Arena is aging, some neighborhoods in DC are not as accessible via public transport as others. Also, the DC government has invested a lot of money brining the Nationals baseball team AND is trying to court the Commanders football team here. Will they give tax breaks or money for a major Capital One Arena renovation in exchange for the Wizards and Capitals staying?
Montgomery County, MD
- Pros: Largest Maryland suburb of DC (1.05 million), several cities (Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring) have a downtown vibe, a team in the northern part of the county can make the team more accessible to Baltimore fans.
- Cons: A team in some cities, especially Silver Spring would be a commuting nightmare for fans who don’t live in the immediate area, including fans coming from Virginia and downtown DC.
Prince George’s County, MD
- Pros: The Wizards and Capitals played for over 20 years in this county. Land would be cheaper here than other suburbs. Home to the MGM National Harbor Casino. Much of the county is very accessible via Metro.
- Cons: A team located in the northern part of the county (ex. Beltsville, College Park) would be a commuting nightmare for downtown DC and Virginia residents though it would help Baltimore area fans. A team in the southern part of the county (ex. Fort Washington, Oxon Hill) would be a commuting nightmare for Montgomery County residents.
Arlington County and Alexandria City, VA
- Pros: The Capitals’ practice facility is in Ballston, a trendy neighborhood in Arlington. Much of eastern Alexandria is also up and coming. These suburbs are very accessible by Metro and very close to downtown. Finally, Arlington is the home of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, so visiting teams won’t have long commutes to an arena here.
- Cons: Fans who commute by car from Maryland suburbs that are closest to the northern border of DC will not like the commute. The western part of Alexandria is not accessible by metro though it is by bus.
Fairfax County, VA
- Pros: Home to the biggest suburb of the DMV (1.13 million) and one of the most affluent counties in the United States. To be clear, most of the DMV suburbs are among the most affluent in the country. Some urbanized areas, especially Tyson’s Corner, could really boom with a sports presence there. Virginia residents would generally like a team in a place like Tyson’s. Metro goes through the county.
- Cons: A team in Tyson’s would be a nightmare for fans in DC’s eastern suburbs while a team in Mount Vernon would be a nightmare for fans in the northern suburbs.
Loudoun County, VA
- Pros: Home to Washington Dulles International Airport*, the majority of the world’s internet traffic and the richest suburb in the United States based on median household income. The metro goes through Dulles Airport and into Ashburn. Neighborhoods outside of towns like Leesburg are often new and very well-kept. And the towns have a vibrant small town feel that closer suburbs lack these days.
Cons: The immediate DC area only goes as far west as Loudoun County. The western part of the county is rural, mountainous and not suitable for an arena. There are no interstates (just toll roads) and only one metro line in Loudoun County. Finally, nearly all of the DMV’s residents live east of Loudoun County. While Loudoun and western Fairfax County residents would like a short commute to watch the Wizards, it would be bad for everyone else. After all, Dulles Airport gets bashed for being in Loudoun instead of Arlington or DC proper.
You would also have to consider the fact that the Wizards practice in Congress Heights, DC. Having the arena in Ashburn would not be a good idea. Look at the Commanders, where their practice facility is in Ashburn and the stadium is in Landover!
*some of the land is in Fairfax County, but the terminal and the rental cars are all in Loudoun.
Prince William County, VA
- Pros: Accessible by interstate. Land here would be cheaper than in suburbs closer to DC. It is home to the Quantico Marine Base near Dumfries and Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow which are easily accessed by I-95 and I-66, respectively.
- Cons: Metro doesn’t go through the county. Also, this move would alienate Maryland fans.
What are your thoughts on the results? Let us know in the comments below.