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Wizards, Capitals staying in D.C.: Teams reach new deal in Washington after VA move shut down, per report

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The City of Alexandria, Va. announced Wednesday that negotiations aimed at luring the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the NBA’s Washington Wizards to relocate to the city have ended, and that a proposal to create a development district with a new arena for the two teams “will not move forward.” In a statement posted to its website, the city of Alexandria expressed disappointment in the outcome of negotiations, which were stymied after an incentive plan for enticing the Ted Leonsis-owned teams offered by Governor Glenn Youngkin was blocked by lawmakers in the state’s General Assembly.

Shortly after Alexandria made its announcement, the Wizards and D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser were reportedly finalizing a deal that will keep the teams in Washington at their current home of Capital One Arena through 2050, per the Washington Post. The report says that the city will provide $515 million that will go to modernizing the current arena.

Just months ago, Leonsis announced the potential plans that would move both teams to a new home in Alexandria, part of a larger $2.2 billion mixed-use development project. 

“As stewards of the City’s economic health and development, City leaders believed the Potomac Yard Entertainment District opportunity was worthy of community discussion and Council consideration,” read the city of Alexandria’s statement. “We negotiated a framework for this opportunity in good faith and participated in the process in Richmond in a way that preserved our integrity. We trusted this process and are disappointed in what occurred between the Governor and General Assembly. 

“We engaged in substantial community engagement over the past months that informed our negotiations and would have made the proposal even better for our community. That continued conversation would have also allowed us to consider how a project of this scale could support our plans for growth and our community’s future. … We will continue to pursue economic opportunities that improve our quality of life and economic health.”

Youngkin told the Post that “personal and political agendas drove away” the Alexandria project. 

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