Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis is considering a future move for the Wizards and the Capitals out of their current Verizon Center location. Over the past few months, Leonsis has added an Arena Football League team, an “e-sports” franchise, and a new streaming network to his portfolio along with continuing to lead the ownership group that controls the Wizards, Mystics, and Verizon Center. He is also now a part-owner of CSN Mid-Atlantic, the local TV channel that covers his teams.
Leonsis made a trip to the Washington Post building Wednesday and spoke to reporters about the possible move for the Wizards and the Capitals out of their current location.
“My inclination right now would be — it’s pretty awesome where we are. And I love what’s happened to [downtown] D.C.,” Leonsis said to Washington Post reporters. “But I don’t know what’s going to happen five, six, seven years from now…I will be a free agent. I mean, that hasn’t been lost on me.”
Ted is making me post this pic.twitter.com/WUZGr6Pt5y
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) November 2, 2016
Leonsis made it clear to reporters that his main goal is to “build the most important, most influential regional sports and entertainment set of franchises in the world.” This could be a difficult feat to accomplish when Leonsis claims the mortgage on the Verizon Center is costing him an estimated $36 million annually. Leonsis calls it “the worst building deal in professional sports.” The door to move the teams will open up once again after the expensive mortgage is paid off in about seven years. The mortgage will cost Monumental Sports and Entertainment about $40 million in 2016.
Despite the fact that the possibility of a move was brought up, Leonsis made sure that all reporters know he is not seeking to leave downtown D.C.
“In terms of the Verizon Center, I’m being sincere,” Leonsis said. “There’s been no discussions of would we look to move,” he said. “Have we talked to Virginia? We have not. Have we talked to Maryland? We have not. I would never do that. My goal would be stay where we are or stay within the city.”
Other venues that have been discussed include RFK Stadium which has been a rumored spot for the Capitals and Wizards to take over once D.C. United moves out (around year 2019). When Leonsis was asked about RFK he replied, “I don’t know. All I know right now [is] I’m working my way through a really massive real estate morass, where I’ll eventually own the building.”
According to The Washington Post, there is also the possibility of using an 190-acre site which would including a new Redskins stadium or potentially an arena complex for NBA and NHL games.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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