Capitals move to Alexandria a possibility

Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Capitals time at Capital One Arena might be coming to an end if Virginia lawmakers vote to approve a new arena located in Alexandria. This is per a report from numerous outlets from The Washington Post to NBC 4 Washington.

Capital One Arena is located in a good spot in downtown D.C. that is easy to get to via the metro. With high crime rate, other bars/restaurants closing permanently and the building getting old in general, there’s been talk of a new arena if Ted Leonsis doesn’t get $800 million together to renovate Capital One.

The new arena would be located in the Potomac Yard area of Alexandria, VA. A new metro station opened there earlier this year. Virginia State Senator Dick Saslaw, who also sits on the commonwealth’s Major Economic Investment (MEI) Project Approval Commission conferred to News 4 that they met on Monday to vote on a deal to build the new arena.

This deal would also include at least one new hotel, a music venue/convention center as well as a $200 million transportation package. The convention center would house 3,000 seats.

Late Monday, The Washington Post reported that the Virginia lawmakers votes yes in favor of the plan. A spokesman from Monumental on early Monday didn’t confirm anything but instead talked about the company’s progress which owns a few sports teams in the city including the Capitals.

While Monumental’s lease at Capital One Arena doesn’t expire until 2047, it could leave in 2027 if Ted pays off a bond on the lease which would cost around $36 million. Virginia’s lease would be good for 40 years.

The proposed new arena site is located behind Target in a popular shopping center and next to the new Potomac Yard Metro station. The deal would also include $200 million in transportation funding that includes a walkway from the station to the arena.

What will make this harder for DC to keep the Caps is that the new Virginia project wouldn’t cost the commonwealth’s taxpayers anything. With the 40 year lease, it would pay off over time with both sides.

If the commission indeed approve the plan, a bill would be drafted and introduced to the full General Assembly on their next session. If that’s approved then state governor Glenn Youngkin would need to sign it and then the proposal would be sent to Monumental.

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Leonsis can decide to go with Virginia’s offer or seek a better deal from Muriel Bowser and the District.