Former Virginia governor reflects on Washington football team's foiled move to Potomac Yard

"It’s a great day, and I’m really relieved," Capitals and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said at a Wednesday evening press conference, flanked by District Mayor Muriel Bowser and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.

And with that, time ran out on a plan to move Leonsis’ teams, the Wizards and the Capitals, out of D.C.

"I was not surprised," former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder said Friday.


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.

After all, Wilder played a big part in a similar situation once before.

Back in 1992, the region also watched a splashy press conference, followed by some ensuing protests, after Wilder and Jack Kent Cooke announced a plan to move Washington’s football team to the same spot, Potomac Yard.

"We will have that stadium ready for the 1994 season, and nothing is going to stop us," Cooke told reporters way back when.

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Although, all these years later, Wilder said the two deals had some major differences, too.

"Bringing the Washington football team to the Potomac Yard site was going to be done at the owner’s expense," he told FOX 5. "Jack Kent Cooke was furnishing all of the money."

A Democrat who opposed this most recent plan, Wilder added that Virginia would be just fine without the Wiz and the Caps.

"The people were kept in the dark far too long and yet the people finally won," he said.

When asked whether a professional team would ever come to Alexandria, Wilder replied, "I don’t know about Potomac Yard. It could very easily be a professional team comes to Virginia. How it does and when it does, I don’t know."