April 25th, 2024

Talks on luring NHL’s Capitals and NBA’s Wizards to Virginia are over, city of Alexandria says

By Sarah Rankin And Matthew Barakat, The Associated Press on March 27, 2024.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Negotiations on luring the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the NBA’s Washington Wizards to northern Virginia have “ended” and the proposal to create a development district with a new arena for the teams “will not move forward,” the city of Alexandria said Wednesday.

Virginia’s House speaker also confirmed he was told that Ted Leonsis, majority owner of the teams, is no longer considering a deal to relocate them from the District of Columbia.

House Speaker Don Scott told The Associated Press he received that news from Justin Wilson, the mayor of Alexandria, where Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin had hoped to land the teams.

The city said in a statement posted to its website that it was disappointed in the outcome. The development came after an incentive plan offered by Youngkin failed to gain traction in the Democratic-controlled General Assembly.

“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,” the city’s statement said.

Daniel Gleick, a spokesman for D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, said he had no information he could share “at this time.”

Youngkin’s press office had no immediate comment. A spokeswoman for the teams’ parent company didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Youngkin and Leonsis announced at a public event in December that they had reached an understanding on the outlines of a plan calling for a new $2 billion development district with a new arena in Alexandria, just a few miles from where the teams currently play.

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