Should Capitals owner Ted Leonsis purchase the Nationals?

It's a complicated equation
Ted Leonsis, Washington Capitals
Ted Leonsis, Washington Capitals / Win McNamee/GettyImages

On Tuesday Ted Leonsis joined the Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan and touched on a variety of subjects including the Washington Capitals. First and foremost now that the Caps are staying put in DC and there is a revamp coming to Capital One Arena, Leonsis talked about possibly purchasing the MLB's Washington Nationals. He also notes that there is no All Star Game coming to Capital One Arena anytime soon but it's the NHL's doing as it's a league event. You can listen to the full interview here.

The programming gap

This is the awkward time of the early stages of the Capitals offseason where we are all looking for something to do. Some of us are watching the rest of the NHL playoffs. Others moved on to other sports including the local hometown baseball team. This is where Leonsis purchase of the Nationals comes into play.

The channel Monumental Sports Network is a DC sports station. Just like it's predecessors in NBC Sports Washington, Comcast Sportsnet, and Home Team Sports prior to that. It just simply makes sense to add Nationals games to it's programming lineup to keep the viewership and ratings up. The Nationals have an exciting young ballclub that competes each night and tries their best. But right now it's the ebbs and flows of baseball just like the offseason for the Capitals has their share of ebbs and flows.

""From a strategy standpoint, it makes sense, but the team's not officially for sale. We're very close partners with the Lerners so we have nothing but friendly relationships with them, but they're business people and we're business people.""

Ted Leonsis

The opposition

Mid Atlantic Sports Network aka MASN has been owned by the Orioles and their predecessor Peter Angelos since the Montreal Expos relocated to DC. But prior to that, Orioles games were on HTS and CSN before MASN "partnered" with both clubs. This was MLB's doing before the Lerner family purchased the team. Though Leonsis said to the Junkies he would make a "strong, credible offer" to buy the Nationals and clean up the mess now that the Angelos family sold the Orioles.

Why there isn't an All Star Game coming to Capital One Arena...

Leonsis made a comparision to the NBA All Star Weekend evets noting it's a league event and not a team event.

"In the NBA, the All Star Game is under like a reconceptualization of what should we be doing to make the All Star Game more than just a game," said Leonsis to the Junkies before adding. "Make it a tourist attraction, a concert and an event, and same with the NHL."

He also noted because it's a league event and not a team event, NHL sponsors would get first dibs at the seats compared to season ticket and plan holders. That makes a lot of sense.

""We listen to the fans and if they think it's something really, really important, certainly we can't do anything while we're reconceptualizing the building and that's going to take four years.""


Leonsis also added: "We can't do anything yet because we don't have the plans or approvals, and we also have to work in conjunction with the ciy and this downtown redevelopment effort."

On owning the Capitals for 25 years

Leonsis was asked about hitting the quarter century mark in owning the Capitals and whether he looks back on that 2018 Stanley Cup or winning the next one:

""I don't think looking back is incredibly healthy.... It's very challenging (going from a fan to team owner) and it becomes work. The first 25 years was mist even when we won the Stanley Cup... You get a little bit jaded in that once you win a championship there's no thrill like that. Winning a championship is very hard and I'm committed to the next 25 years.""


No matter what side of the spectrum you are on, this was a good 31 minute interview with The Sports Junkies that we highly encourage you to listen to.