New Arena for Wizards and Mystics

Residents of D.C. get ready to be entertained!

Events DCD.C. is getting a new sports arena. The Entertainment and Sports Arena at St. Elizabeths East in Ward 8 will be a state-of-the-art complex, which will serve as a practice facility for the Washington Wizards, home court of the Washington Mystics and also as a premier entertainment venue.

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the project on Sept. 16, during a conference at the Gateway Pavilion. The event was also attended by Monumental Sports & Entertainment founder, majority owner & CEO Ted Leonsis and Events DC president & CEO Greg O’Dell.

The $55 million project is scheduled to break ground next year, with completion set for the fall of 2018. It will deliver a 118,000-square-foot facility with seats for 5,000 people. Once finished, the new complex is expected to produce $90 million in new tax revenues over 20 years and also lead to the significant expansion of arts, cultural, entertainment and civic amenities in the region. According to the city, the Entertainment and Sports Arena at St. Elizabeths East will host more than 90 events per year.

“Today marks an important day for the District of Columbia and the people of Ward 8,” Mayor Bowser said in a statement. “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, D.C., is a city on the move.” The project is expected to create more than 600 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs.

Funding over the course of the 19-year lease includes nearly $23 million from the District, up to $5 million from Monumental and $27 million from Events DC. The latter company will construct the new facility.