Ted Leonsis Rumors
Wizards and Mystics owner Ted Leonsis said Wednesday that he hopes to purchase a D-League franchise and have it play home games at the complex’s 5,000-seat arena as NBA teams continue investing in its minor-league partner. “We will now start serious discussions about can we get an expansion team,” Leonsis said. “We know where we can put it and I think it would work great here. I think 5,000-seat arena that tickets can be priced correctly in the marketplace. It’s close enough to Verizon but can still be programmed and marketed separately.”
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.
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser has reached a tentative deal to build a $56.3 million Wizards basketball practice facility and Mystics arena for majority team owner Ted Leonsis on the east campus of the former St. Elizabeths hospital in one of the poorest corners of the nation’s capital.
Details are still in flux, but officials said the city plans to build and own the facility while the teams’ owner would contribute $10 million to aid the surrounding neighborhood. Events DC, the District’s quasi-public convention and sports agency, would manage the property and contribute up to $32.5 million of the cost. The project would include a modern training center similar to those other NBA teams have built in recent years. The Mystics would move their home games to a 5,000-seat arena at St. Elizabeths from the Verizon Center.
Whatever his fate is, he’ll be a first ballot Hall of Famer. I hope he comes back. His deal is, he can say ‘I want to come back,’ and he would be welcomed with open arms. He might say ‘I don’t want to come back, I want to negotiate,’ and we would do that. He might say I want to go somewhere else. He’s earned that. “And we love Paul Pierce,” Leonsis said. “He knows where he stands in our desires. But it’s up to him now, and there’s probably no one in the NBA right now in that part of their career that’s earned that freedom to do what he thinks is best for he and his family.”
Ted Leonsis: “Paul Pierce is a Hall-of-Fame player, and he brought so much to the Wizards this year – on the court as well as off. When people struggle to describe the “It Factor,” all they need to do is look at Paul. He was an incredibly valuable piece to our puzzle this year, and he expressed to us what a positive experience he had with our team, organization and city. I hope he has a desire to return to the Wizards next season and continue to build upon what he started.”