Ted Leonsis Rumors
Candace Buckner: “We will never, ever tank.” — Ted Leonsis, right now in London. Leonsis is all in on this team making the playoffs and holding this team to that standard. More from Leonsis on the @PostSports Instagram story
A city-sponsored study estimated that 150 to 200 D.C. businesses might seek licenses to take sports bets, but the bill that was approved last month by the city council grants special privileges to the four stadiums and arenas. If those operators choose to get in the gambling business, no other entity can take sports bets legally within a two-block radius. That means the most prominent brick-and-mortar sports wagering locations in the city could be Capital One Arena in Chinatown, Nationals Park, the newly-constructed Audi Field and the St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena in Congress Heights.
Perhaps the biggest winner will be Monumental Sports CEO Ted Leonsis, who owns Capital One Arena, in addition to teams such as the Wizards, Capitals and Mystics, and has been an outspoken proponent of legalized sports betting. Because of league restrictions, Monumental would have to partner with an established gaming company to run the sports betting operation and effectively would serve as landlord to a sportsbook. Leonsis’s venture capital firm Revolution Growth has invested in DraftKings, but Monumental has not yet announced any gambling partners to date.
Monumental likely would identify retail space around the building that would be open to fans even when no teams are playing in Capital One Arena. “I could see someone comes here for lunch, someone gets here at 5 o’clock, they’re watching other games, they’re placing their bets,” Leonsis told The Washington Post in an interview last year.
During a media availability two seasons ago, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis made it clear that the Wizards are attempting to do better when it comes to analytics. “I think for us, of course we can do better,” he said. “I don’t think there is any team that can’t execute and do better. As the state of the art continues to improve around analytics and then there is more innovation, yeah, I think what we’re doing today is innovative. I’d like to see more teams, additional teams do it, but you can only do it if you have an organization that goes, ‘That’s cool. We probably can learn something.’ If they’re open-minded.”
Then came the pay question, and suddenly it all turned complicated. Because Toliver is a player with the Mystics, owned by Ted Leonsis, under the same corporate umbrella as the Wizards, the league determined that any pay Toliver was to get from the gig would have to come out of the $50,000 total each team has allocated to pay W.N.B.A. players for off-season work. Moreover, much of that had already been promised to Toliver’s teammate, Elena Delle Donne, who typically stays home in the off-season and promotes the Mystics. N.B.A. assistants routinely make $100,000 or more, with some earning over $1 million, so how much would the job pay Toliver? The answer was $10,000. Or, to put it in perspective, $5,000 less than the fine the N.B.A. recently handed down to Coach Nurse of the Toronto Raptors for “public criticism of the officiating.”