DC’s NBA, NHL Teams Won’t Move to Virginia After Talks Break Down

(Bloomberg) -- Plans for a proposed $2 billion sports and entertainment district that would have seen two professional DC sports teams — basketball’s Washington Wizards and hockey’s Washington Capitals — move to Virginia have been shelved after the state’s governor and legislature failed to agree on terms for the project.

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Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin criticized the state’s General Assembly, saying it allowed “personal and political agendas” to drive away a deal that would have seen events operator Monumental Sports & Entertainment develop offices and a new arena in Alexandria’s Potomac Yard neighborhood.

“This should have been our deal and our opportunity, all the General Assembly had to do was say: ‘thank you, Monumental, for wanting to come to Virginia and create $12 billion of economic investment, let’s work it out,’ he said in a statement.

In a separate statement, the city said it was “disappointed in what occurred between the Governor and General Assembly,” adding that the talks failed to result in a proposal that protected Alexandria’s financial interests and respected its community values.

“The city was adamant that any favorable consideration of the proposal included substantial and thoughtful improvements to the existing transportation system; included affordable housing; protect our stellar AAA bond rating,” it said.

Announced in December, the development would have been funded from the corporate tax that businesses would have paid to operate in the arena as well as the personal income tax paid by workers employed there.

On Wednesday, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and Monumental Sports owner Ted Leonsis announced a deal to renovate and modernize the downtown arena where the Wizards and Capitals play. The city government previously committed to $500 million of financing for the project, and it will add $15 million for street improvements outside the arena.

(Corrects first two paragraphs to show that rift is between governor, state general assembly)

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