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Mayor Bowser Cuts the Ribbon on Entertainment and Sports Arena in Ward 8

Saturday, September 22, 2018

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser and Events DC cut the ribbon on the Entertainment and Sports Arena in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Ward 8. The new venue in the sports capital will be the home of the Washington Mystics and the Capital City Go-Go, the NBA G-League team, as well as the official practice facility for the Washington Wizards. The Entertainment and Sports Arena will also serve as a world-class destination site that will host cultural and community events for residents and visitors across all eight wards.

“Today, we celebrate not just the opening of a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment facility, but the promise and opportunity that this project brings to our city,” said Mayor Bowser. “The Entertainment and Sports Arena is the home our Mystics deserve. But this project is even bigger than basketball. The ESA is about jobs, opportunity, and community; it’s about ensuring that every neighborhood, in every corner of our city has world-class housing and amenities”

The 4,200-seat venue will be a hub for entertainment, sporting events, esports, and more. Earlier this month, the Mayor and Events DC announced the ESA’s opening events, including concerts by Grammy Award winning Mary J. Blige on October 6 and Cage the Elephant on October 13.

“We are proud to celebrate the opening of the Entertainment and Sports Arena. Similar to some of our other venues like the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Nationals Park, this arena is important not only for the attraction of new events and experiences to the city, but for DC’s greater economic development and job creation,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Events DC.  “We look forward to delivering unmatched event programming from esports and boxing to amateur sports and electrifying concerts – starting with our grand opening celebration blockbuster lineup!”

In 2015, the Bowser Administration, Events DC, and Monumental Sports & Entertainment announced plans to build the Entertainment and Sports Arena at the St. Elizabeths East Campus in an effort to expand economic prosperity in the surrounding area. The 120,000 square-foot facility is projected to produce $90 million in tax revenue over 20 years, and attract more than 380,000 annual visitors each year.

The Mayor was joined at today’s celebration by Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner, Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, Events DC President and Chief Executive Officer Greg O’Dell, Events DC Chairman of the Board of Directors Max Brown, Monumental Sports & Entertainment CEO Ted Leonsis, and Sheila C. Johnson of Monumental Sports & Entertainment and the Washington Mystics.