“The issue is that Monumental Sports wants to stay, but, like the Nationals, there’s a lot of deferred maintenance in the arena — and it’s a cost,” Mendelson told the Post. “The city has been a partner in the past; from their perspective, their question was, ‘Are you willing to be a partner?’ My answer is yes.”
Monumental Sports & Entertainment has spoken with Virginia government officials about relocating the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards to Arlington’s Crystal City neighborhood, according to the Washington Post.
Discussions about moving the team from Capital One Arena, located in D.C.’s Chinatown neighborhood, were “preliminary and exploratory,” an unnamed Monumental official told the Post. A potential relocation to the area would be near Reagan International Airport, as well as Amazon’s new HQ2 offices.
Monumental, which owns Capital One Arena, also spoke with city officials about funding improvements to the arena.
According to the Post, Monumental chief executive officer Ted Leonsis and chief administrative officer Monica Dixon met with Democratic D.C. Council chair Phil Mendelson on June 15, where talk mostly focused on upgrading the 25-year-old facility.
Monumental holds a ground lease for 601 F St NW, according to the report, meaning it leases the land the arena sits on from the city. The current lease term runs until 2047, but could end as soon as 2027 if Monumental is allowed make a lump sum payment of the remaining $35 million principal on the lease’s bond, according to the report.
Both the Capitals and Wizards have resided at Capital One Arena since the building was opened in 1997, relocating from Landover, Maryland’s Capital Centre, where the two teams were based since the 1970s.