Wizards, Caps will reluctantly accept $500 million to stay in DC

jose melendez

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I know you feel otherwise, but this is a fucking disaster for DC. I work a block from the Capital One Arena, and the area has already started turning to shit--an increase in vagrants, mentally ill people shouting at the sky, an open air drug market by the Metro stop, and shuttered storefronts everywhere owing to the lack of daytime business in a post-pandemic WFH environment. The one thing drawing people to this neighborhood is the arena and its events. Even there, the Caps/Wiz ownership group has had to hire private security for the surrounding blocks on game days. Meanwhile, the city ignored Leonsis' requests with the belief that he'd never leave DC and instead spent a ton of time, money, and effort trying to lure the Commanders back to a neighborhood that doesn't want to waste that kind of space on eight Sundays a year and the occasional concert.

The idea that Leonsis' vision of a revitalized Cap One Arena that is used just for the WNBA Mystics, concerts, and other special events strikes me as incredibly unrealistic. WRT the deurbanization of sports, I think that is indeed a real concern. A plurality of Braves season ticket holders live in Gwinett County, so that's where they moved. Similarly, for as long as I can remember, the Bullets/Wizards have been horrible, while the Caps have been much more of a draw. I'd be shocked if a Braves-level plurality of fans didn't come from the Virginia suburbs.
 

jayhoz

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Ted Leonsis has signed a tentative agreement to move the Wizards and Caps to Alexandria, Virginia. A 27-year old stadium is, apparently, unacceptable, even with a $500 billion public subsidy.

I wish him worst of luck with the NBA's worst franchise. I really worry that, on the heels of the Braves, this is the start of a deurbanization of sports teams by owners who feel 30 years at a stadium is just too long. To the people of Virginia, enjoy some horrible basketball.
I know inflation has been a bit of problem, but half a trillion dollars seems a bit steep. ;)
 

AB in DC

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From the general thread:

Wizards (and Caps) apparently agree to move from DC to Potomac Yards, which is outside Alexandria, VA. VA has agreed to invest $3B into what is envisioned as a "sports entertainment district."

Mystics will stay in DC.

Will be a blow to DC; will be interesting to see the downstream effects. All this after DC agrees to pony u $600M to improve the arena.

https://www.axios.com/2023/12/13/wizards-capitals-virginia-arena-plans-photos
Route 1 traffic is already a nightmare in that area, and that's before all the development. I don't get it. Metro access won't be nearly as good either.
There is a WMATA station that looks to be pretty close to the arena according to some preliminary renderings.

The interesting thing is that they aren't building many parking spaces in the entire complex. While maybe - and that's a big maybe - fans will be willing to take the Metro to and from games, how many people are going take the metro just to eat out or go out for the night?

https://wjla.com/news/local/how-a-move-to-alexandria-virginia-could-impact-washington-wizards-capitals-fans-commuting-to-games-basketball-hockey-sports-complex-arena-entertainment-district-potomac-yard-neighborhood-metro-transportation
The VA General Assembly and the City of Alexandria still need to sign off on the project and so its no sure thing that it will happen.
But the current stadium is on (or within walking distance of) all five Metro lines. This site isn't. And the car/road plans seem incredibly amorphous for an area that's already a headache to get around. Hell, I live in Virginia, and I would much rather drive downtown than to Potomac Yard. Pretty easy to get to and from via the 3rd street, 7th street, or 12th street tunnels. Parking is a bear, of course, but doesn't seem a whole lot better at the new development.
 

GreenMonsterVsGodzilla

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I know you feel otherwise, but this is a fucking disaster for DC. I work a block from the Capital One Arena, and the area has already started turning to shit--an increase in vagrants, mentally ill people shouting at the sky, an open air drug market by the Metro stop, and shuttered storefronts everywhere owing to the lack of daytime business in a post-pandemic WFH environment. The one thing drawing people to this neighborhood is the arena and its events. Even there, the Caps/Wiz ownership group has had to hire private security for the surrounding blocks on game days. Meanwhile, the city ignored Leonsis' requests with the belief that he'd never leave DC and instead spent a ton of time, money, and effort trying to lure the Commanders back to a neighborhood that doesn't want to waste that kind of space on eight Sundays a year and the occasional concert.

The idea that Leonsis' vision of a revitalized Cap One Arena that is used just for the WNBA Mystics, concerts, and other special events strikes me as incredibly unrealistic. WRT the deurbanization of sports, I think that is indeed a real concern. A plurality of Braves season ticket holders live in Gwinett County, so that's where they moved. Similarly, for as long as I can remember, the Bullets/Wizards have been horrible, while the Caps have been much more of a draw. I'd be shocked if a Braves-level plurality of fans didn't come from the Virginia suburbs.
This is exactly right. I’ve been in DC long enough to remember when parking nearby could lead to your battery being stolen. The MCI/Verizon/Cap One Center built that neighborhood. Not just the Caps/Wizards but all the other entertainment in that building - movies, bowling, restaurants. The movie theater already closed.

Maybe if it all closes down it’ll go back to being a real Chinatown.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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jose melendez

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I know you feel otherwise, but this is a fucking disaster for DC. I work a block from the Capital One Arena, and the area has already started turning to shit--an increase in vagrants, mentally ill people shouting at the sky, an open air drug market by the Metro stop, and shuttered storefronts everywhere owing to the lack of daytime business in a post-pandemic WFH environment. The one thing drawing people to this neighborhood is the arena and its events. Even there, the Caps/Wiz ownership group has had to hire private security for the surrounding blocks on game days. Meanwhile, the city ignored Leonsis' requests with the belief that he'd never leave DC and instead spent a ton of time, money, and effort trying to lure the Commanders back to a neighborhood that doesn't want to waste that kind of space on eight Sundays a year and the occasional concert.

The idea that Leonsis' vision of a revitalized Cap One Arena that is used just for the WNBA Mystics, concerts, and other special events strikes me as incredibly unrealistic. WRT the deurbanization of sports, I think that is indeed a real concern. A plurality of Braves season ticket holders live in Gwinett County, so that's where they moved. Similarly, for as long as I can remember, the Bullets/Wizards have been horrible, while the Caps have been much more of a draw. I'd be shocked if a Braves-level plurality of fans didn't come from the Virginia suburbs.
Oh I don't think otherwise. I think it's a complete disaster. I don't think the city should have to give half a billion dollars to keep the team, but the arena anchored that neighborhood. This is terrible news, and I think that increase the likelihood that the city will give the Commanders a massive subsidy with is a complete disaster.

But on the upside, FC Servette isn't leaving Geneva any time soon.
 

Awesome Fossum

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Also, despite opening not long ago, the Potomac Yards station made a list of stations to be shut down because it has one of the 10 lowest rider counts in the system.
It opened in May -- there can't be any way they're going to shut it down already.

The VA General Assembly and the City of Alexandria still need to sign off on the project and so its no sure thing that it will happen.
They had politicians from every level and both parties at that announcement. Nothing's done until it's done, but I think they have their ducks in a row on this front.
 

SumnerH

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Ted Leonsis has signed a tentative agreement to move the Wizards and Caps to Alexandria, Virginia. A 27-year old stadium is, apparently, unacceptable, even with a $500 billion public subsidy.

I wish him worst of luck with the NBA's worst franchise. I really worry that, on the heels of the Braves, this is the start of a deurbanization of sports teams by owners who feel 30 years at a stadium is just too long. To the people of Virginia, enjoy some horrible basketball.
You can relax on the deurbanization front: Alexandria and Arlington (and parts of Maryland to the north) are 100% part of the DC urban area, and the population density of surrounding Alexandria is actually higher than the population density of the part of the city where Capital One Arena is currently located. The 3 most densely populated areas in the city are actually on the Virginia side of the river, and #4 is Friendship Heights Village in Maryland; Logan Circle in DC proper is fifth.

The new stadium location is like 7 stops on the metro away from the old one. Were it not for the weird artificial federal district borders, the place the stadium is going would just be another neighborhood of the city (indeed, Alexandria was originally part of the DC grants).

census_map_2020_800_442_90.jpg

(Yellow dots are old and new locations, to the north and south respectively)

I'm not saying it's a good location: It'll leave a hole in the old neighborhood for sure. And the Potomac Yard Metro station—which is right where I lived until July—has been an unmitigated disaster. And Route 1 traffic is already a nightmare.

But there's no real deurbanization going on here.
 

jose melendez

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You can relax on the deurbanization front: Alexandria and Arlington (and parts of Maryland to the north) are 100% part of the DC urban area, and the population density of surrounding Alexandria is actually higher than the population density of the part of the city where Capital One Arena is currently located. The 3 most densely populated areas in the city are actually on the Virginia side of the river, and #4 is Friendship Heights Village in Maryland; Logan Circle in DC proper is fifth.

The new stadium location is like 7 stops on the metro away from the old one. Were it not for the weird artificial federal district borders, the place the stadium is going would just be another neighborhood of the city (indeed, Alexandria was originally part of the DC grants).

View attachment 75162

(Yellow dots are old and new locations, to the north and south respectively)

I'm not saying it's a good location: It'll leave a hole in the old neighborhood for sure. And the Potomac Yard Metro station—which is right where I lived until July—has been an unmitigated disaster. And Route 1 traffic is already a nightmare.

But there's no real deurbanization going on here.
That's an interesting question about the nature of deurbanization. I'll have to contemplate it. DC's very nature, it's confluence with two states but lack of the sovereignty required to negotiate with them on every footing always makes things interesting.

I'll say, since I moved away in July, I have a really hard time in understanding what's going on in the city. I hear a lot about how bad it's gotten, and there were certainly real issues when I was there (the murder rate most notably) but I never felt like it was spiraling. The coverage, however, suggests everything is going sideways.

There is no way that building is viable for concerts, wrestling, truck shows and the mystics.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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It opened in May -- there can't be any way they're going to shut it down already.



They had politicians from every level and both parties at that announcement. Nothing's done until it's done, but I think they have their ducks in a row on this front.
With regards to Metro - as I'm sure you know, Metro is facing a $750M funding gap, so the article said:
The discussion comes at a time when Metro is trying to close a $750 million budget gap. One of the worst-case scenarios Metro is considering is shutting down some of its stations with the lowest ridership.
Currently, Potomac Yard is one of those stations.
"Our proposal was 10 lowest and based on today’s ridership I believe Potomac is in that top 10," Clarke said.
Metro is also floating the idea to increase fares to help close the budget gap. A final decision won’t be made until the spring.

With regards to the proposal, there are a bunch of articles out there stating that transportation - particularly Route 1 - is going to be a major hurdle and no one right now has any idea of any solutions. Proposal apparently needs to be approved by VA GA and Alexandria City Council (https://www.dcnewsnow.com/news/local-news/virginia/alexandria/alexandria-mayor-traffic-transportation-the-biggest-unknown-of-arena-proposal/). I don't think this is a done deal by any means.
 

SumnerH

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That's an interesting question about the nature of deurbanization. I'll have to contemplate it. DC's very nature, it's confluence with two states but lack of the sovereignty required to negotiate with them on every footing always makes things interesting.
Yeah, it's a weird case where the political boundaries are even more artificial than usual. I lived very near this site (actually right at the Potomac Yard Metro Station, on the other side of the street). On a nice day, I'd walk up to the Jefferson Memorial.
 

the1andonly3003

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I visited the Metro Center area this spring and it was very gentrified from my summer of '18 there. I am surprised that he wants to leave given the speed of development in the past 5 years.

I doubt there is much interest of Asian spots to come back to Chinatown from Silver Springs/Falls Church.
 

Toe Nash

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I think a few things:
  • This isn't really a done deal as noted about the transportation, but also the city council of Alexandria has to vote on it and supposedly the VA general assembly as well. Maybe they're all the bag but you never know.
  • I think life will go on for downtown and the solutions it needs weren't going to come from an arena that only has activity for what...20 hrs a week? The siting of the arena helped the area when it happened for sure but many other areas in the city also improved around the same time without an arena. Everything needs a re-think now but cities are resilient. You hear a lot about downtown because people in the suburbs interact with it and its business owners are losing money without employees nearby so they're whining a lot*, but EVERY downtown is struggling and work from home isn't going away. Things happen.
    • IMHO downtown really just needs to have more yuppies living in it all the time (like NoMa or Navy Yard) and it will be fine. I lived on the other side of Mt Vernon Sq from downtown for 2 months this summer, 6 or so blocks from the arena, and it was fine because lots of people live there and they're mostly upstanding citizens. The federal government giving up on bringing employees back to the office fulltime and selling off their land will help whenever they get around to doing that. DC is hamstrung because of federal stuff and because of the height act. But suburbanites coming in to the city, whether for work or for events, didn't save it from getting bad in the 70s through the 90s and it's not going to save it now either.
  • Speaking of the height act, if it didn't exist then Leonsis could just build a tower over the arena like the Jacobs did at North Station and maybe the math would work out better for sticking around in a prime transportation location.
  • I also think that moving the Mystics back would still keep ~some~ activity in the arena. I won't argue that it would be the same but the NY Liberty drew an avg of nearly 8000 fans per game last season which is very respectable and women's soccer does well in DC too. There are longer-running events they can't have at Capital one now because it conflicts with hockey / basketball.
  • I wonder how many suburban Maryland fans would even bother trekking to the new arena. I guess he doesn't care because Leonsis would make more money from the rest of the development but you are kind of cleaving your fanbase in half. It would be easily an hour plus to get there from anywhere in Maryland unless you're like a straight shot on Metro and that doesn't describe too many people.

*To some extent, the reason restaurants and other businesses are going under in downtowns is because their business models were based on doing a shit-ton of business during peak times (lunch, happy hour and before events at the arena) and their rent was high. In the more neighborhood-y restaurant districts closer to where people live, they had less loss of business because they're serving food all week long / have lower rent, and places like 14th st / U st, capitol hill, etc (near where wealthy young people with disposable income live) are all hopping whenever I've been there this fall.
 

SumnerH

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I doubt there is much interest of Asian spots to come back to Chinatown from Silver Springs/Falls Church.
And especially North Potomac and Rockville.

"Chinatown" is just a historical name at this point; it's been in decline since the late 1970s, especially since the convention center went in. The only way new Asian places are going in at this point is to serve tourists and visitors, or as a normal part of city life.

The 2020 census had just 361 Asian-Americans in the area, the majority of whom are seniors living in the Wah Luck House (an affordable/Section 8 housing concession that went in when the city seized a lot of property by eminent domain in 1979 to put up the convention center) or people living in Museum Square. That's down from 3,000+ in the 1970s.

Wah Luck's ownership company is actually managed by the owner of a couple of the remaining Chinese restaurants in Chinatown: Yeni Wong owns Chinatown Garden and Joy Luck House. The tenants been spared displacement because of an unusual ownership structure: the Chinese Consolidate Benefit Association owns the land that the apartment is built on and leases it to companies that own and operate the buildings. Those leases are temporary (the current one expires in 2056) and are used as leverage to ensure that the apartment remains affordable for Chinese occupants.

The last time the apartment was sold there was some trepidation about Yeni Wong's involvement and whether she was pro-tenant or just interested in flipping the place, but there were no other buyers and CCBA ultimately extended the lease by 20 years to enable her purchase to go through (Fanny Mae was refusing to approve financing without an extension). I'm not up on current events, but there have been some complaints by tenants about how the place is operated.

City Paper article from a few years back: https://washingtoncitypaper.com/article/183272/residents-of-wah-luck-house-have-endured-difficult-living-conditions-to-remain-in-downtown-dc/
 

GreenMonsterVsGodzilla

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I'll say, since I moved away in July, I have a really hard time in understanding what's going on in the city. I hear a lot about how bad it's gotten, and there were certainly real issues when I was there (the murder rate most notably) but I never felt like it was spiraling. The coverage, however, suggests everything is going sideways.
Don’t believe the coverage.
IMO - and I’m not a politician but I count a DC Councilperson as one of my best friends - the biggest issues are crime and Metro. Crime has gone up to like late 90s levels. But it’s a bit misleading. There are far more “safe” neighbourhoods than back then - gentrification has its benefits. What seems to have been happening is that there’s been a lot of high profile crime right out in the open. Like shootings in daylight. But it’s still bangers getting banged. Not that it’s not a problem, it’s just the general feeling seems to be more like “this makes the city/the police/the council look bad” than “I’m scared to live in this neighborhood.”
Metro is another thing. If they don’t get a major funding increase, they could be in trouble. DC has the money, but VA and MD have to commit a lot more. I think it gets done, though. Virginia has the new Amazon HQ and now maybe the Wiz and Caps. And MD is not even done building the Purple line. Other than that, DC is not hurting. Revenue is way up, schools are improving, etc.
 

pedro1918

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I have been in the D.C. metro area for 36 years. I remember when the Metro Center/Gallery Place area was a desolate and scary place. There was a punk club at 7th and E St., NW that I frequented and I remember getting off the Metro at the escalator that is now the south-west corner of the arena and, after looking around, sprinting the two blocks to the club. One night I went to see a show there and between bands I was hanging out in the alley behind the clubwith friends when some guy with what looked to be an air rifle announced he would be taking all of our wallets. The guy quickly realized that there were about 20-25 of us in the alley and even if he did manage to take a couple of wallets, he was going to get the shit kicked out of him. Just as one of my friends had managed to picked up an old pipe and was getting ready to crack it over the gunman's head, the guy started backing up slowly before he took off. The point is, the neighborhood was awful.

I went to Caps/Bullets/Hoya games and an occasional concert at Ye Olde Capital Centre in Landover, MD. Getting there, no Metro, beltway traffic and rush hour, parking, getting out of the parking lot was awful. The building was dark and cramped. All of the patrons were on the same concourse. Lines were long for eveything. Slowly I went from going to random games with friends to just going to see the Bruins and Celtics. The arena was awful.

Sometime in the early 90's, I participated in a "Caps fan" focus group. The only question the hosts really asked about was "What would it take for you to come to more games?" The answer given by almost everyone in the room was "a downtown arena". I don't think that focus group was the only reason they moved downtown, but it didn't hurt.

The news of a new arena downtown was very exciting. Then owner Abe Pollin paid for a huge chuck of the arena himself. He said it himslef, that he wanted to give back to the city/region that supported him. It was a nice building with unbelieveable acces to public transportation. I split a full season Capitals ticket package with my brother-in-law. The neighborhood took off. Of course there was some negative to the development, the de-Chinese-ification of Chinatown, the fact that the punk club mentioned earlier is now a Starbuck's isn't great. But there is no denying the change to the Gallery Place area (and Metro Center) was amazingly positive and it was because of the arena.

I had my Caps tickets for about 20 years. I enjoyed going, but things change and prices get higher. I really only go to Bruins games there now. While it really doesn't effect my sports fan life, I think it's sad that the teams might be moving to Virginia. While I find it hard to say I will never go see the Bruins there, I know there will be no random games or concerts. It might be four miles as the crow flies, but riding the Metro (or driving) is much harder than flying. It will add significant time and a transfer to my trip. I don't see how the one platform Metro station can accomodate the arena. I think it's a decision that Ted Leonsis will regret over time.

What really bothers me is what Ted is doing to the city. I think it's a decision that is devastating to D.C. The arena will not survive without major tenenants. The neighborhood will not survive the death of the arena. Ted is trashing Abe Pollin's legacy while talking out of both sides of his mouth. I don't think the teams need to change their names to "Virginia" but the Wizards should pull all of the "DC" and "The District" stuff off their uniforms and marketing materials because Ted doesn't give a hoot about the city.
 

Ale Xander

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I hope the new place will have free parking nearby. I saw a Celtics Wizards game there once (and a couple of the tidal basin Memorials after) on the way to snowbirding and it was a fun time. Parked like a 30-35 minute walk north of the stadium in a decent neighborhood and got a spot around 6pm no problem.
 

pedro1918

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I hope the new place will have free parking nearby. I saw a Celtics Wizards game there once (and a couple of the tidal basin Memorials after) on the way to snowbirding and it was a fun time. Parked like a 30-35 minute walk north of the stadium in a decent neighborhood and got a spot around 6pm no problem.
I guess if "30-35 minute walk" is your idea of "nearby" it will be possible, but why on earth would there be free parking for the arena?
 

Ale Xander

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Why Alexandria and not say Dale BLvd (south of Woodbridge/Potomac Mills)?
similar to the Fl Panthers stadium

Land should be cheaper there and you get the VA suburbanites and the Fredericksburg and Richmond markets too
 

the1andonly3003

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I didn't realize that DC had gotten that unsafe. I had walked from Dupont to Adams Morgan and it appeared ok.

OTOH, the Eras Tour can finally play at the Cap One Arena....
 

Ale Xander

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I didn't realize that DC had gotten that unsafe. I had walked from Dupont to Adams Morgan and it appeared ok.

OTOH, the Eras Tour can finally play at the Cap One Arena....
It wasn’t in my experience
6-6:45 (stopped at sweetgreen at 15th and P) and 10:15-10:45 pm on a weekday
I think somewhere just north of Logan Circle but not sure tbh is where I parked
 

SumnerH

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Why Alexandria and not say Dale BLvd (south of Woodbridge/Potomac Mills)?
similar to the Fl Panthers stadium
Dale City may as well be the moon. It's 90+ minutes during rush hour, if traffic is moving at all, including driving through the mixing bowl, and it's completely disconnected from public transportation. I wouldn't drive out there for an evening game from Alexandria, let alone downtown.

Baltimore would make more sense.
 

Bread of Yaz

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Have lived in DC since 1978 (GU 1982). A couple things:

  1. Abe Pollin's arena did spur a redevelopment of the 7th Street area. But the entire downtown has greatly improved since then. A new convention center three blocks north; City Center two blocks west; the H Street and U street corridors; the Georgetown waterfront; and SW near Nats Park. The Wiz and Caps leaving would not cause the area to collapse as all these improvements have brought a huge number of new downtown apartments in and around the area and the 25 year olds who moved in wont suddenly up and leave.
  2. But I dont see the new arena getting approved. The NIMBYs in Alexandria are well organized and extremely vocal. They blocked Snyder from bringing the Skins to Potomac Yards for what would have been 10 Sundays a year, and I see no way that they will allow an arena that would by be in use at least 80, especially because the Yards have been considerably built up with a lot of retail, which is what the locals wanted and were willing to allow.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I hope the new place will have free parking nearby. I saw a Celtics Wizards game there once (and a couple of the tidal basin Memorials after) on the way to snowbirding and it was a fun time. Parked like a 30-35 minute walk north of the stadium in a decent neighborhood and got a spot around 6pm no problem.
There isn't going to be much parking (maybe 2500 spaces) much less free parking. Parking is going to be insane for those who don't take the Metro.
 

Ale Xander

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Dale City may as well be the moon. It's 90+ minutes during rush hour, if traffic is moving at all, including driving through the mixing bowl, and it's completely disconnected from public transportation. I wouldn't drive out there for an evening game from Alexandria, let alone downtown.

Baltimore would make more sense.
You’re generally correct and I think a team would do ok in Inner Harbor, it’s currently, at 5:38
36 minutes from Fairfax
35 minutes from Annandale
32 minutes from Manassas

to Talk of the Mountain (just north next door to where I’m imagining)
 

SumnerH

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You’re generally correct and I think a team would do ok in Inner Harbor, it’s currently, at 5:38
36 minutes from Fairfax
35 minutes from Annandale
32 minutes from Manassas

to Talk of the Mountain (just north next door to where I’m imagining)
Google had it at 1:25 from Gallery Place to Dale City when I posted that; it's 53 minutes now.

Which kind of proves the point: it's so far out on such a congested route that it's totally at the mercy of often-untenable traffic conditions. Alexandria's a much more time-bounded commute, and has public transit.

Which isn't saying much; Route 1 through Alexandria also sucks, just not as badly as battling the beltway/95 down to Woodbridge.

Obviously remaining in DC is far better than either from a transit standpoint.
 

Ale Xander

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What about the other side, like Tyson’s, between the Audi and Toyota dealerships? Loudoun, west side of nova is where the money is. Get it closer to there. I’m just not getting why Alexandria makes any sense, especially for hockey.
I would also seriously considersplitting the two up, put NBA in Maryland (Balmer or even near UMD wherever the northern end of the trains go) or in Richmond where it’s a rich basketball culture and you can get weekend NC traffic too. And the NHL in northwest Fairfax (near Loudoun on the west and Bethesda on the northeast)

IF you want to get away from downtown DC which I don’t get (certainly don’t get for Wiz)

Alexandria doesn’t make sense to me, at least yet.
 

Bread of Yaz

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What about the other side, like Tyson’s, between the Audi and Toyota dealerships? Loudoun, west side of nova is where the money is. Get it closer to there. I’m just not getting why Alexandria makes any sense, especially for hockey.
I would also seriously considersplitting the two up, put NBA in Maryland (Balmer or even near UMD wherever the northern end of the trains go) or in Richmond where it’s a rich basketball culture and you can get weekend NC traffic too. And the NHL in northwest Fairfax (near Loudoun on the west and Bethesda on the northeast)

IF you want to get away from downtown DC which I don’t get (certainly don’t get for Wiz)

Alexandria doesn’t make sense to me, at least yet.
Tysons?? I live nearby and its jam packed with horrific traffic any time of the day or night already

Loudoun County does have more land. But the county has exploded recently with developments and roads are clogged

Not sure what you mean about "northwest Fairfax (near Loudoun in the west and Bethesda on the northeast)"? There's a river between those two
 

jose melendez

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I think the answer is he wants a massive subsidy, to have a broader set of businesses he can capture and to still draw the downtown crowd.

Is there anything at Potomac yards now? Or is he going to have to build that from scratch?
 

JCizzle

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I think the answer is he wants a massive subsidy, to have a broader set of businesses he can capture and to still draw the downtown crowd.

Is there anything at Potomac yards now? Or is he going to have to build that from scratch?
There's an outdoor strip mall with a Target, Best Buy, etc. A couple fast casual food options. There might be one or two restaurants with a bar, so I imagine that would be a big growth area. There's a back road that connects to Crystal City, so they could probably make a shuttle system pretty easily.
 

SumnerH

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There's an outdoor strip mall with a Target, Best Buy, etc. A couple fast casual food options. There might be one or two restaurants with a bar, so I imagine that would be a big growth area. There's a back road that connects to Crystal City, so they could probably make a shuttle system pretty easily.
That Target is one of the highest-volume Targets in the nation (I think it was #1 at some point). They keep talking about tearing down the mall to redevelop (it was originally meant to be temporary), but so far it's been too profitable. Sounds like the stadium deal would finally kill the mall, though:

According to the plans released Wednesday, the existing shopping center would be redeveloped into an area with office and residential space, retail, at least one hotel, and community gathering spaces. The current shopping center includes a massive parking lot out front, but the plans promise "walkable retail."

I'm not sure if there's a bar there anymore, most of that has shifted a couple of blocks over into north Del Ray which has a ton of decent bars or a few blocks north into Crystal City. There used to be a Hops (crappy chain brewpub), but I think it shut down during Covid or soon after. There was also something in the Ruby's/TGIF/Chili's vein but I think Covid killed that also. There are Five Guys, Cava, Chipotle, Subway, IHOP, &pizza, Dunkin', Starbucks, etc that would probably go if the mall is redeveloped.

There are some non-chain pizza and sandwich and mediterranean places across the street that could stay if they aren't priced out. And across the street to the south there's a fairly new Giant (supermarket), a CVS, and another tiny strip mall with a bunch of restaurants, a fancy beer/wine store, etc.

There is Rustico (a mid-fancy bar/restaurant, part of NRG) a couple of blocks south but. It's currently an inconvenient walk from the proposed stadium site because of the way the roads are disconnected, but if stadium development connects a back road then it'd be right there.

That NBC article also says:

The roughly $200 million of transportation funding that would be included in the deal would help double the capacity of that Metro station, with a walkway directly from the station into the arena.
 

JCizzle

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That Target is one of the highest-volume Targets in the nation (I think it was #1 at some point). They keep talking about tearing down the mall to redevelop (it was originally meant to be temporary), but so far it's been too profitable. Sounds like the stadium deal would finally kill the mall, though:

According to the plans released Wednesday, the existing shopping center would be redeveloped into an area with office and residential space, retail, at least one hotel, and community gathering spaces. The current shopping center includes a massive parking lot out front, but the plans promise "walkable retail."

I'm not sure if there's a bar there anymore, most of that has shifted a couple of blocks over into north Del Ray which has a ton of decent bars or a few blocks north into Crystal City. There used to be a Hops (crappy chain brewpub), but I think it shut down during Covid or soon after. There was also something in the Ruby's/TGIF/Chili's vein but I think Covid killed that also. There are Five Guys, Cava, Chipotle, Subway, IHOP, &pizza, Dunkin', Starbucks, etc that would probably go if the mall is redeveloped.

There are some non-chain pizza and sandwich and mediterranean places across the street that could stay if they aren't priced out. And across the street to the south there's a fairly new Giant (supermarket), a CVS, and another tiny strip mall with a bunch of restaurants, a fancy beer/wine store, etc.

There is Rustico (a mid-fancy bar/restaurant, part of NRG) a couple of blocks south but. It's currently an inconvenient walk from the proposed stadium site because of the way the roads are disconnected, but if stadium development connects a back road then it'd be right there.

That NBC article also says:

The roughly $200 million of transportation funding that would be included in the deal would help double the capacity of that Metro station, with a walkway directly from the station into the arena.
I can believe - but would be disappointed - if they kill the mall. It's one of the few places around with easy parking and seems to do good business as a whole. Plus it's one of the more convenient Dunks to park at in the area. The one in Pentagon City is a nightmare with Costco right there.
 

Humphrey

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Where do the Georgetown fans generally come from other than from the school, which the new place would be 3 more miles away than the current place?

Just wondering what they would do if this happens; in terms of capacity, a renovated version of the current arena w/around 10-12K would seem to be perfect.
 

SumnerH

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Where do the Georgetown fans generally come from other than from the school, which the new place would be 3 more miles away than the current place?
These days there aren't many in-person fans anywhere—average attendance is in the low 5,000s even for in-conference games. From 1980–2015 they pulled 10,000+ for conference games, in a good year 15,000+, but those days don't seem likely to return.

Historically they had huge support in the black community, not just locally but nationwide: that surged after John Thompson coached them to a national title in 1984 to become the first black coach to win a title, and remained strong for decades after that on the strength of Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning, and Allen Iverson. Like all of their fan base, that's tailed off with their lack of success in current years, but it still exists to some extent: they've fallen out of the top 25 basketball programs by revenue, but are still in the top 40 even with their recent downturn. Alexandria doesn't particularly play to that, being about 20% black compared to ~40% for DC proper.

It's also a Catholic university, which tends to mean high geographic diversity—the 98.5% of student body being out of "state" is misleading because of DC's oddness, but the school draws heavily nationwide for the student body, and basketball does draw some support from Catholics. But Marquette, Gonzaga, and Villanova have surpassed them in that demo. Alexandria is an okay but not great fit for that, maybe slightly more Catholic than DC but basically even.

538 chimes in:
No matter. Thompson’s biggest legacy was off the court, both in his creation of a college basketball brand that was explicitly Black and in his drive for social change.

Culturally, Georgetown basketball was embraced by Black Americans. Whether it was the racial composition of Thompson’s teams — they were almost all Black — the Georgetown starter jackets, or the Kente cloth that the Iverson-led Hoyas of the ’90s donned, Georgetown basketball embodied a brand that Black Americans felt they owned, just as white Americans disapproved of it. And in a majority-Black city with a Black mayor, the Thompson-led Hoyas, as The Undefeated’s Chris Palmer put it, “appealed greatly to local Black fans, particularly young Black men who felt labeled, disrespected and disregarded.” That appeal to “disregarded” Black men extended to Iverson himself; Thompson was one of the few coaches to offer the future No. 1 overall NBA draft pick a scholarship after he served a jail sentence.

“He created that environment, and that worked for us,” former guard Gene Smith said about Thompson in a recent interview with The Georgetown Voice. “But also for Black America, it was like, ‘Okay, we’re not taking any shit. We’re not apologizing.’”
 

RSN Diaspora

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I think the answer is he wants a massive subsidy, to have a broader set of businesses he can capture and to still draw the downtown crowd.

Is there anything at Potomac yards now? Or is he going to have to build that from scratch?
That stretch of Route 1 has all the charm of a back alley abortion clinic, but I think that’s the point—he’s building a massive sports/entertainment/retail complex around a new Metro stop. If he does it right, I think it could make him a mint.

Oh I don't think otherwise. I think it's a complete disaster. I don't think the city should have to give half a billion dollars to keep the team, but the arena anchored that neighborhood.
Strictly speaking, no, the city shouldn’t have to, but that was the price to keep them in DC. The question then becomes whether paying that price is better than the alternative of losing the anchor. If it’s football, I say absolutely not—too few games. If it’s hockey or basketball, I could probably argue either way. If it’s hockey and basketball, it’s 82 home games that don’t have a ton of overlap with that stadium that has 81 home games. To me that’s worth the investment compared to a pre-MCI Center Chinatown.
 
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Awesome Fossum

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Sen. L. Louise Lucas, a leading Democratic Virginia legislator, on Monday said that proposed legislation to help pave the way for the NBA's Washington Wizards and NHL's Washington Capitals to relocate to northern Virginia is dead, as far as she's concerned.

Lucas, chair of the Senate Finance & Appropriations Committee, first said over the weekend on social media that legislation underpinning the deal was "not ready for prime time" and would not receive a hearing in her committee. The decision effectively killed the Senate version of the legislation because of a procedural deadline this week, though another bill is making progress in the House of Delegates, which is also controlled by Democrats.
https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/39512382/virginia-senator-says-bill-new-wizards-capitals-arena-dead
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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InstaFace

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yeah, Peak John Wall and Bradley Beal took us to 7 games, and might've gone to the ECF if it weren't for *shuffles notes* Kelly Olynyk. They also went to the Eastern Semis 3 times in 4 years total from 2014-2017. But before that, they've gone as far as the ECSFs only once (2005, peak Gilbert Arenas) since 1982. Their 1978 championship is as much ancient history as the glory days of the Pittsburgh Pirates.