Wolf Blitzer interviewed Monumental Sports and Entertainment owner Ted Leonsis on The Situation Room, Sunday night. Blitzer is a season-ticket holder for the Washington Wizards and called Leonsis “a good friend.” Leonsis is the majority owner of the Capitals, Wizards, and Mystics.
Leonsis answered two questions during the interview before connection issues cut the chat short. The 63-year-old said that he believes both the NHL and NBA will both play regular-season games again at some point during the summer because “we owe the programming to the networks” and “to the fans.”
Leonsis did the interview on video conference and placed a replica Stanley Cup to his right, honoring the Capitals’ Stanley Cup win in 2018.
“I believe all three teams will play (again),” Leonsis said. “We will let the NBA and the NHL finish some or all of the regular season then go into the playoffs. We just won’t be doing it with fans. We’re just focused on the health and safety for our fans and also our players. We need to be very very cognizant of helping our partners, like your parent company (Turner), like Disney and ESPN, that rely on us for programming. So the focus right now is how do we finish the regular season and then go into the playoffs. We have a lot of time to do it. There really isn’t the stress of when would the next season start and so you get a chance to do the planning and create protocols that will maximize the safety for the players.”
Blitzer asked Leonsis if any of his teams would play again at Capital One Arena to finish their seasons.
“I believe the remainder of this season we will try to create a safe haven, a bubble, where the players in the NHL would pick a couple of arenas in North America, maybe a couple in Canada, and really just put 40 or 50 in each organization in a hotel and then shuttle them to the arena, test them very often, and just make sure that we can play the games and get to the playoffs,” Leonsis said. “Not only do we owe the programming to the networks, but we owe it to the fans. You’d like to compete for the Stanley Cup and not have an asterisk. You’d like to be able to give the championship and I also think that will happen in the NBA. It’s sad right now but we’ll get through it.”
He added, “Last night would have been Opening Night for the Washington Mystics. We won the WNBA championship last year. We had to have a virtual celebration with our fans on some of the social media channels.”
Leonsis’s opinion that the NHL will play regular-season games goes against national reporting that suggests the NHL is moving towards a 24-team playoff format.
“We all want to say thank you to our fans and we want to make sure we can play in a safe way,” Leonsis said.
— Monumental Sports & Entertainment (@MSE) May 17, 2020
Headline photo courtesy of CNN
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.