Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post last Friday advocating why the Washington Wizards and Capitals should remain in D.C. I encourage you to read it regarding her position and rationale as to why the region’s NBA and NHL teams should remain in the city.
In addition, Bowser announced that Chinatown will have a “Safe Commerical Corridor Hub” on Monday, so tourists and residents have a place to go to regarding public safety. It’s also partly an effort to address the situation of rising crime in D.C., including Chinatown.
It’s a coincidence, but Bowser is probably feeling happy about Va. Sen. L. Louise Lucas taking an open stand against the project over the weekend as well.
Bowser wrote something else in her op-ed that she pledged to do. She plans on enforcing the leasing agreements that Monumental’s teams have with the city. The Wizards and Capitals are supposed to play at Capital One Arena through 2047 and the Mystics at the Entertainment & Sports Arena through 2037.
As many of you know, Monumental already owns Capital One Arena, but they lease the land from the D.C. government. Bowser claimed in her op-ed that if Monumental breaks the terms of their lease, the D.C. government will own the building.
Normally, corporations don’t go on social media to reply to an op-ed. But Monumental did just that on Sunday through their X account, quoting Bowser’s post by posting a copy of the lease agreement. Monumental plans on breaking the lease anyway in 2027. But it now sounds that they are willing to have the Mystics play at ESA through 2037, about 10 more years longer than they originally wanted.
We've been clear w/ @MayorBowser that we will honor agreements to play at the arenas. Caps & Wiz have the right to pay off the bond in 2027 & end the COA lease early – MSE plans to exercise that right. And the Mystics will play at ESA through 2037 (unless city agrees otherwise). https://t.co/kwIDVd7BQz pic.twitter.com/Cj1FUOX7HH— Monumental Sports & Entertainment (@MSE) February 11, 2024
So in short, Monumental Sports & Entertainment wants to move the Wizards and Capitals Alexandria regardless, barring the project getting blocked in the General Assembly. But the Mystics could still be in one of the WNBA’s smallest arenas for another decade, which may not sit well with their league.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.