VA leaders, locals react to Monumental Sports not transferring from DC



Officials will now return to the drafting board on the right way to finest make the most of the land in Potomac Yard.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — It’s official. Northern Virginia is not going to be house to the Washington Capitals or Wizards anytime quickly.

At a information convention Wednesday evening, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Monumental Owner Ted Leonsis introduced that Monumental Sports had reached an settlement to maintain the groups at Capital One Arena in D.C. till 2050. 

Their announcement, simply three hours after an announcement from the City of Alexandria, that that they had “ended negotiations associated to the Potomac Yard Entertainment District alternative and the proposal is not going to transfer ahead.”

Outside of Wednesday’s information convention, members of the Coalition to Stop the Arena at Potomac Yard celebrated.

RELATED: Monumental Sports reaches deal to maintain Wizards, Caps in DC, supply tells WUSA9

A petition they launched, had greater than 3,100 signatures as of Wednesday evening.

“You cannot have these again room offers and suppose you are going to have a really constructive final result,” mentioned Andrew Macdonald, a former vice mayor who’s now a part of the coalition.

He and others who’ve been adamantly against the proposal, known as this announcement a monumental win.

“What has occurred at present, the place residents stood up and mentioned no to a billionaire, is a mannequin that states and cities throughout the nation ought to look to,” mentioned John Breyault, who’s with the National Consumers League.

WUSA9 additionally checked in with among the native enterprise homeowners Wednesday evening in Del Ray, who would have been impacted by the transfer.

Bill Blackburn, the proprietor of Pork Barrel BBQ in Del Ray, advised WUSA9 through textual content, that “it is disappointing information and a loss for the City of Alexandria.”

In January, Governor Glenn Youngkin highlighted Blackburn, as one of many small enterprise homeowners who would profit from the proposed transfer of the sports activities and leisure enviornment.

But different enterprise homeowners within the space like Keith Keefer, the proprietor of Northside 10 in Alexandria advised WUSA9 their enterprise would not see many advantages.

“I do not suppose it might have executed a lot. They would have constructed bars by the sector. They would have been busy, the Metro would have been busy. For us we like our small neighborhood over right here.” 

In an announcement posted to YouTube, Alexandria City Mayor Justin Wilson known as the announcement a disappointment.

“We are disenchanted that this proposal was not in a position to be thoughtfully thought-about on it is deserves by legislators, stakeholders and finally now by our neighborhood, and as an alternative bought caught up in partisan warfare in Richmond. As a end result the City of Alexandria will now not be contemplating the present proposal and can as an alternative flip our focus to different efforts to carry high quality industrial alternatives to the neighborhood sooner or later. To each diversify our tax base and defend our high quality of life,” mentioned Wilson.

Governor Youngkin additionally responded to the announcement with an announcement, the place he wrote:

“Virginians deserve higher. A one-of-a-kind undertaking bringing world-class athletes and leisure, creating 30,000 jobs and $12 billion in financial exercise simply went up in smoke. This transformational undertaking would have pushed funding to each nook of the Commonwealth,” the governor mentioned. “This ought to have been our deal and our alternative, all of the General Assembly needed to do was say: ‘thanks, Monumental, for wanting to come back to Virginia and create $12 billion of financial funding, let’s work it out.’ But no, private and political agendas drove away a take care of no upfront normal fund cash and no tax will increase, that created tens of hundreds of recent jobs and billions in income for Virginia. I’d prefer to thank Ted Leonsis and the Monumental workforce, the City of Alexandria, JBG Smith and numerous different companions for his or her professionalism, perception in Virginia and fortitude. Congratulations to Monumental for putting an excellent deal, I’m sorry you received’t be in Virginia.”

But some Virginia lawmakers disagree with the remarks made by the Governor and others, who blamed private and political agendas for the explanation the deal did not undergo.

“That wasn’t the case in any respect. We’ve been open to making an attempt to barter deal for taxpayers for the reason that very starting. But no person’s been prepared to speak to us. The concern has all the time been utilizing tax payer backed debt to fund the undertaking versus personal debt,” mentioned Virginia Senate Majority Leader Scott Surrovell.

He advised WUSA9 that they need to have concerned the legislature a lot earlier within the course of.

“We do not usually have any person come to us and say ‘take it or go away it’. We usually say this is a undertaking we’re interested by, what are your issues, lets have some discussions about it. That by no means occurred right here. We had been mainly given a take it or go away it deal. That would not work on this state. We have a AAA bond score that we have now to protect very fastidiously they usually had been asking us to do some issues on this undertaking that we have by no means executed earlier than in historical past,” mentioned Senator Surrovell.

He says issues may have undoubtedly had a distinct final result.

“I feel if they’d have come to us earlier we may have probably found out a option to make this executed. But they got here to us so late,” mentioned Surrovell.

Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Justin Wilson did not reply to an interview request concerning the way forward for Potomac Yard.

However, in February, Mayor Wilson advised WUSA9, “If this does not go we must return to the drafting board and discover one other proposal.”

As for Keefer, he supplied up one suggestion, one other highschool, saying there’s just one highschool for all of Alexandria.

“If you’ve land to construct us an enviornment as an alternative construct a second highschool,” mentioned Keefer.



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