D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser isn’t accepting the Washington Mystics as a consolation prize at Capital One Arena if the Wizards and Capitals move to Alexandria.
Bowser and leaders of a new task force designing the future of Gallery Place and Chinatown told the D.C. Council at a Tuesday morning event at Clyde’s in Chinatown that they hope to have a rough draft of a plan for the neighborhood by May. They are targeting September for actionable items for the 5-acre Chinatown site comprising Capital One Arena and Gallery Place.
The gathering was the District’s first chance to respond at length to Monumental Sports & Entertainment owner Ted Leonsis’ justifications for proposing moving the teams to a new $2 billion entertainment district and arena in Alexandria’s Potomac Yard, which he laid out last week. But speaking to media after the event, Bowser rejected the idea of playing ball with Monumental to try to keep the arena standing without its two major tenants.
“We haven’t closed the door on Monumental. I think having half-a-billon dollars on the table indicates how wide the door is open,” Bowser said at a press conference after the breakfast, noting the $500 million offer for upgrades to the standing arena, which D.C. has called its final offer. But she said some kind of arrangement where Monumental uses both Capital One and its new Virginia arena “just doesn’t make sense.”