Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis and Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser will hold a joint press conference Wednesday to announce the plans for a "new state-of-the-art Entertainment and Sports Arena at St. Elizabeth's East in Ward 8."
According to the press release issued by Monumental Sports and Entertainment, the "$55 million joint venture will become the future practice facility for the Washington Wizards" in addition to the home court of the Washington Mystics and the host of other events. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2016 with completion in fall of 2018.
The 118,000 square foot facility will include a 5,000 seat arena and potentially provide the Congress Heights with additional revenue as an "entertainment venue" along with construction and permanent jobs.
The press conference will be held 11:30 a.m. at Gateway Pavilion. CSNmidatlantic.com reported news of the press conference on Monday.
“Today marks an important day for the District of Columbia and the people of Ward 8,” said Mayor Bowser. “With this new development, we are driving private investment to the St. Elizabeths East campus, boosting the local economy, creating hundreds of jobs, and putting more District residents on their pathways to the middle class. This is a huge win for the District and yet another sign that Washington, DC is a city on the move.”
“We are extremely appreciative of the Mayor’s and Event DC’s collaboration and partnership with us,” said Leonsis. “We look forward to working together to build a best-in-class Wizards and Mystics training facility and a fantastic new home venue for Mystics games. The facility not only is important to our teams but also the community – it’s much bigger than basketball.”
Per the release, "Funding over the course of the 19-year lease includes a District investment of nearly $23 million, up to $5 million from Monumental towards construction - with an additional $10 million for St. E’s redevelopment and community philanthropic investments - and $27 million by Events DC. Events DC will be responsible for the construction of the new facility."