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Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s arena bill is having trouble passing the Va. General Assembly

Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s Alexandria area project faces a significant roadblock because Va. Sen. Louise Lucas chairs the Finance Committee and opposes it.

Virginia state Senator Louise L. Lucas(D-18) at work in the statehouse, in Richmond, VA.
Virginia State Senator L. Louise Lucas is declaring the Potomac Yards arena project dead. But there is still work to do.
Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

If Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s proposed campus and arena in Alexanria, Va. becomes a reality, the Virginia General Assembly must pass a bill to authorize a stadium authority. So far, things have gone relatively smoothly in the Virginia House of Delegates. However, according to the Associated Press, a bill that originated in the Virginia State Senate has been effectively killed by not getting a hearing.

You can thank Va. Sen. L. Louise Lucas, a Democrat from Portsmouth, a city in Hampton Roads, which is the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area. She is the chairwoman of the Senate Finance & Appropriations Committee. If she won’t let a bill get a hearing in committee, there’s a good chance that the project faces delays. Or perhaps it gets killed altogether.

Here is an X post Lucas wrote last Saturday criticizing Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican who wants this project to go through.

Since the newest Virginia Assembly met after last November’s elections, both houses are controlled by Democrats. You would think that it would make Youngkin want to appear more conciliatory or willing to work on bipartisan issues. The arena is generally a bipartisan issue because the Alexandria local government is all Democrat-run.

But the AP article noted that Lucas criticized a speech Youngkin made last Saturday at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va. which was considered highly partisan against Democrats. Lexington is about 60 miles south of Harrisonburg and just east of the Alleghany Mountains. Here’s a snippet of that speech.

Ultimately, Lucas is unwilling to see an arena in Alexandria if Virginia’s credit backs the project.

Is this project completely dead? No, because again, the House of Delegates passed their version of this bill, and it has a Democratic majority. In fact, it passed a House committee, 17-3. But there will still be bigger hurdles to cross when it passes by Lucas’ desk.

Let us know your thoughts below on what could be happening to the Washington Wizards and Capitals’ proposed home.