Caps, Wizards not moving to Potomac Yard, staying in DC

The proposal to bring the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals to Potomac Yard will not move forward, officials say. 

The City of Alexandria released a statement Wednesday, announcing the city has "ended negotiations related to the Potomac Yard Entertainment District opportunity." 

After months of negotiation with Monumental Sports and Entertainment and JBG Smith, the city said negotiations couldn't reach an agreement that was favorable to Alexandria. 

"The City was adamant that any favorable consideration of the proposal included substantial and thoughtful improvements to the existing transportation system; included affordable housing; protect our stellar AAA bond rating; protect existing and future residents from financial risk; provided substantial future revenue for city and school services; protected existing neighborhoods; and provided quality jobs for our community," said the statement. "We are disappointed negotiations did not result in a proposal that protected our financial interests and respected these community values."

Following the announcement from the City of Alexandria, Monumental Sports CEO Ted Leonsis, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson announced an agreement to make improvements to the Capital One Arena. 

"I look at outcomes, not process, and we got to the right outcome," said Ted Leonsis. "I know this was a difficult process and I want people to understand how much I love Washington D.C. and how much I’ve always loved Washington D.C. Mayor Bowser and her team heard us and worked with us and gave us the tools for us to meet the needs of our business to expand right here in downtown.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 27: CEO of Monumental Sports and Entertainment Ted Leonsis, right, shakes hands with Mayor Muriel Bowser after signing an agreement on the court before a Washington Wizards game at Capital One Arena on March 27, 2024 in Washing

D.C. has committed to the previously announced $500 million renovation of Capital One Arena, along with an additional $15 million to improve the area around Gallery Place and Capital One Arena. 

"We are going to have a state-of-the-art urban arena in Downtown DC and that’s a great deal for DC, for the teams, and for the fans," said Bowser. "We made a great offer – and kept that offer on the table – because have known all along that this is a win-win for our city and the teams."

Since the announcement of plans to move the Capitals and the Wizards to a proposed stadium in Potomac Yard and out of D.C., Bowser and other D.C. officials have taken action to improve crime in the area, including forming a Gallery Place/Chinatown Task Force and establishing a Safe Commercial Corridor Hub in Chinatown. 

READ MORE: Are the Wizards and Capitals leaving DC for Virginia's Potomac Yard?

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin issued a statement following the announcement that negotiations had ended to bring a stadium to Potomac Yard. 

"Virginians deserve better. A one-of-a-kind project bringing world-class athletes and entertainment, creating 30,000 jobs and $12 billion in economic activity just went up in smoke," said Youngkin in a statement Wednesday. "This transformational project would have driven investment to every corner of the Commonwealth. This should have been our deal and our opportunity, all the General Assembly had to do was say: ‘thank you, Monumental, for wanting to come to Virginia and create $12 billion of economic investment, let’s work it out.’ But no, personal and political agendas drove away a deal with no upfront general fund money and no tax increases, that created tens of thousands of new jobs and billions in revenue for Virginia."

This is not the first time a major sports team set their sights on Potomac Yard and failed – Washington's football team went through a similar defeat in 1992.