After months of location searching and working with the D.C. government, the Washington Wizards have officially found a home for their new practice facility, scheduled to open in 2018.
Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis and D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser made the announcement on Wednesday morning at Gateway Pavilion in Southeast Washington. Construction is set to begin on the Ward 8 site in 2016.
"It's a great day for our community. I would like to thank the people of Ward 8," Leonsis said. "I couldn't be more proud."
"We're going to have about 4,000 people come here each year and that's a good thing," Bowser said.
The project will cost an estimated $55 million and serve many purposes involving the Wizards, the Mystics and entertainment events. The facility will house a 5,000-seat arena -- where the Mystics will play home games -- and top out around 118,000 square feet.
The Wizards' lease with the city is for 19 years and involves a $23 million investment from the government. Events D.C. president and CEO Greg O'Dell was also on hand at the press conference. Events D.C. is contributing about half of the total cost for construction.
Also in attendance on Wednesday were Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld, Mystics president Sheila Johnson, Ward 8 councilmember LaRuby May, deputy mayor or planning and economic development Brian Kenner and several members of the Wizards and Mystics including John Wall, Bradley Beal and Stephanie Dolson.
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