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Mayor Bowser, DC Council Introduce Legislation to Support Downtown Revitalization, Investment in Capital One Arena Modernization Project

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson unveiled legislation to support a complete renovation and modernization of the Capital One Arena. The legislation, which has unanimous support from the DC Council, outlines the District’s contribution of a half billion dollars to the modernization project to create a state-of-the-art urban arena and solidifies Monumental Sports and Entertainment as an economic anchor of the Gallery Place-Chinatown entertainment district and a destination for District residents and visitors.

“Downtown DC is the District’s economic engine that provides revenue resources to support important programs in the city. Mr. Leonsis and Monumental Sports have been critical partners in keeping our downtown thriving, especially after the pandemic. The modernization of the Capital One Arena will be an invaluable investment for continued success and our future prosperity,” said Mayor Bowser. “This proposal represents our best and final offer and is the next step in partnering with Monumental Sports to breathe new life and vibrancy into the neighborhood and to keep the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals where they belong – in Washington, DC.”

The legislation that Mayor Bowser submitted to the Council outlines the parameters of the agreement, including receiving the authority to enter into a lease extension and provide financing of $500 million toward the $800 million renovation project over a period of three years beginning in 2024. City leaders have also committed to a swift and expedited review and approval process to meet current construction plans for the arena.

“We are committed to making the most strategic investments possible to keep the District on the best path forward and we view the revitalization of the Gallery Place-Chinatown community and the Capital One Arena as a lynchpin of that strategy,” said Chairman Phil Mendelson. “This project will fuel jobs, help local businesses, and serve as a top-tier destination for DC residents and visitors to the region.”

Since 1997, when Abe Pollin moved the arena from the suburbs to Downtown Washington, DC, Gallery Place-Chinatown, with Capital One Arena as its hub, has been the epicenter of sports and entertainment in the region. The neighborhood boasts existing onsite access to Metro and has long had transportation capacity to support the more than 80 sporting events held at the arena each year.

Partnering with Monumental Sports, the vision for a reimagined Gallery Place-Chinatown is to be DC’s top destination for global, national, regional, and local visitors alike. The ongoing development of the Downtown DC Action Plan will also identify how DC will leverage the unique amenities and location of Gallery Place-Chinatown to catalyze DC’s economic comeback.

The full legislation is attached.

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