Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals celebrates after winning  the Stanley Cup in 2018.
Photo credit: Wall Street Journal

Washington Capitals have been denied move to new city

Published March 22, 2024 at 5:03 PM

The attorney general of the District of Columbia is playing hardball to keep the Washington Capitals in town. As a matter a fact, the Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis signed a deal in 2007, in which D.C. gave him $50M for arena renovations, which committed the team to D.C. until 2047 — fullstop.

Washington Capitals Denied Move to Virginia

The District prefers not to pursue any potential claims against MSE

Schwalb wrote.

It remains committed to maintaining and growing its partnership with MSE and keeping the Wizards and Capitals at the Arena until the end of the existing lease term in 2047, if not beyond. It is in that spirit that the District urges MSE to re-engage with District officials around a mutually beneficial arrangement that advances the long-term interests of both the District and MSE.

According to this pact, Monumental Sports and Entertainment must give D.C. a heads-up if they plan to hit the road. Not only that, but they've got to sit down and hash out the details with the District for a solid six months.

So, when Leonsis hinted at a move across the river to Alexandria, Virginia, in 2028, it raised some eyebrows. Yet, they still have 23 years left to cheer on their beloved teams in the nation's capital.

Now, about that Virginia move—sure, it sounds like a slam dunk financially, especially with a $2 billion sports complex on the horizon. It's also possible Maryland might be in the mix. Apparently, Governor Wes Moore and Leonsis have been chatting about the possibility of bringing both the NBA and NHL teams to Maryland.

Maryland seems pretty keen on backing sports facilities, whether it's under Moore's watch or with past leaders. They' have a hefty $1.2 billion chunk of change from state lottery bonds, all set to upgrade stadiums like M&T Bank Stadium where the NFL's Baltimore Ravens play and Camden Yards, home of the MLB's Baltimore Orioles. There's also the lease deal with the Orioles, where the state and the team team up on a development plan before 2027 rolls around.

Now, before you get too excited, it's all still up in the air. Neither Leonsis nor Governor Moore's crew is saying anything just yet. However, it's still intriguing to see what's brewing as Leonsis tries to figure out the best move for the Caps and Wiz.

Yet let's not forget about the hometown fans. For them, it's a bit of a letdown. At least now they know they've got plenty of time left to enjoy Capitals games right where they belong—right here in D.C.
March 22   |   373 answers
Washington Capitals have been denied move to new city

What do you think the Washington Capitals should do about their arena situation?

Stay and renovate16143.2 %
Move to the proposed new arena21256.8 %
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