Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced a $2 billion public-private partnership to create a world-class Entertainment District in the City of Alexandria at Potomac Yard – bringing the NBA and NHL to Virginia. WFIR’s Ian Price has more.
Read more for the full press release.
RICHMOND, VA – Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced a $2 billion public-private partnership to create a world-class Entertainment District in the City of Alexandria at Potomac Yard. This new 9 million-square-foot district developed by JBG SMITH will feature the global corporate headquarters for Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE), an industry-leading Arena for both the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards, a state-of-the-art Monumental Sports Network media studio, the Wizards practice facility, a performing arts venue, and an expanded esports facility, in addition to bringing new retail, residential, restaurants, hotels, conference, and community gathering spaces.
The project, a partnership among the Commonwealth of Virginia, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the City of Alexandria, and JBG SMITH, will bring more than 650 relocated MSE headquarters positions to Potomac Yard. The Arena, Phase 1, and future phases of development are estimated to generate a combined $12 billion in economic impact for the Commonwealth and City of Alexandria and create approximately 30,000 jobs over the next several decades. Subject to legislative approval by the Virginia General Assembly, the Entertainment District will break ground in 2025 and open in late 2028.
“This is the most visionary sports and entertainment development in the world, bringing together entertainment, sports, and technology in the most advanced innovation corridor in the United States: a once-in-a-generation and historic development for the Commonwealth, sports fans, and all Virginians. The Commonwealth will now be home to two professional sports teams, a new corporate headquarters, and over 30,000 new jobs – this is monumental,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “This was only made possible through consistent collaboration between Virginia’s economic development team, the Monumental Sports & Entertainment team, the City of Alexandria, our administration and the Virginia General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission, and JGB SMITH. Virginia is undoubtedly the best place to live, work, raise a family, and now watch basketball or hockey.”
“Ensuring a stable financing structure was the Commonwealth’s top priority, and we are confident this transformational project is a win-win for Virginia, the City of Alexandria, and Monumental Sports & Entertainment,” said Secretary of Finance Stephen Cummings. “All project investments backed by the Commonwealth and the City will be paid back in full by incremental project revenues; there is no upfront investment by the Commonwealth and no existing taxes or tax increases are a part of this financing plan. This tremendous opportunity will drive billions in total economic impact over 40 years.”
“The Commonwealth of Virginia is truly a catalyst for innovation, and this transformational project represents a unique opportunity for the region’s premier sports and entertainment company to forge meaningful connections with Virginia Tech, and other corporate partners in the region, including Amazon, Boeing, and Raytheon. This district will generate tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic impact, creating a prime regional destination,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “It is an honor to partner with Monumental Sports & Entertainment, VEDP, the City of Alexandria, and JBG SMITH on this historic win for Virginia.”
“Investments in the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure, including the Potomac Yard-VT Metro Station, enable developments like this to become powerful regional economic drivers. Today’s announcement underscores the importance of strengthening our multimodal transportation network, and it is exciting to see this world-class Entertainment District come to fruition,” said Secretary of Transportation W. Sheppard Miller III. “We look forward to working with Monumental Sports & Entertainment and the City of Alexandria, as well as the regional business community, to ensure future investments in the National Landing corridor support the safe and reliable movement of automotive, pedestrian, and transit users to and from this cutting-edge District.”
“We are committed to providing world-class fan experiences while continuously evolving our teams, deepening community ties, and solidifying our role as leaders at the forefront of sports and technology,” said Monumental Sports & Entertainment CEO Ted Leonsis. “The opportunity to expand to this 70-acre site in Virginia, neighboring industry-leading innovators, and a great academic partner, would enable us to further our creativity and achieve next-generation, leading work – all while keeping our fans and the community at the forefront of everything we do.”
“Alexandria’s ability to attract this ambitious project is a direct result of the success of previous investments made in Potomac Yard and across our city,” said Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson. “It is our collective strategy and vision for purposeful economic growth that will ensure Alexandria remains a vibrant, accessible, and inclusive community for all.”
“Monumental Sports’ major commitment to National Landing marks another milestone in its evolution into a model, 21st-century urban destination in Northern Virginia and will serve as a powerful catalyst for growth and opportunity in the neighborhood,” said Matt Kelly, Chief Executive Officer at JBG SMITH. “We are grateful for Governor Youngkin’s leadership and look forward to partnering with his administration, the City of Alexandria, Virginia Tech, and Monumental Sports in cultivating a dynamic district anchored by world leaders in commerce, sports, entertainment, and higher education.”
Located on the Potomac River just across from Washington, D.C., the Entertainment District is easily accessible by all modes of transportation and is minutes from the newly opened Potomac Yard-VT Metro Station, Ronald Reagan National Airport, community bike paths and foot trails, and underground parking. Joining National Landing as part of Potomac Yard, the Entertainment District will be adjacent to the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus and near Amazon HQ2, creating opportunities for unique partnerships between MSE and Virginia Tech focused on entrepreneurship, sports analytics, immersive technologies, and innovative new business and media strategies.
“We’re excited by Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s plans to be our neighbor in Potomac Yard,” said Virginia Tech President, Tim Sands. “We believe in the great potential of this location, and are eager to welcome others who are passionate about this community and building an exciting and vibrant future together.”
“Securing this public-private partnership is truly a game changer for the City of Alexandria, the region, and the Commonwealth, benefiting a generation of Virginians and putting Potomac Yard on the map as a regional sports, entertainment, and innovation destination,” said Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission Chair Delegate Barry Knight. “The thousands of jobs and economic impact generated by this project cannot be overstated, and I am proud the MEI Commission could play a role.”
“Thanks to everyone who played a role in this historic project for the City of Alexandria and the Commonwealth,” said Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission Vice Chair Senator George Barker.“Accelerating economic development in Virginia is a top priority, and the Entertainment District will have a ripple effect on the economy and catalyze additional investments for decades to come. I am pleased the MEI Commission could be part of the collaboration to help secure this critical project.”
Monumental Sports & Entertainment is one of America’s leading sports and entertainment companies. Its people, players, teams, and events bring excitement and joy to millions. The company invests and innovates to consistently raise the game so they can deliver extraordinary experiences that will inspire and unite their community, fans, and partners.
The Youngkin Administration and Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Alexandria, JBG SMITH, and the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment (MEI) Project Approval Commission to secure the project for Virginia.
In the upcoming General Assembly session, legislators will be asked to approve the creation of a new Virginia Sports and Entertainment Authority. The $2 billion transformational investment will be supported through bonds issued by the to-be-created Authority, as well as a $403 million investment by MSE. The bonds will be repaid through annual rent paid by MSE, arena parking revenues, District naming rights, and incremental taxes generated by the Arena and Phase 1 development. There is no upfront investment or inclusion of any taxes already being collected by the Commonwealth to repay the bonds and there will be no tax increases for local residents. The City of Alexandria will also contribute $56 million toward the construction of the performing arts venue in partnership with MSE, and $50 million toward underground parking development. The land and buildings will be owned by the to-be-created Virginia Sports and Entertainment Authority. The Virginia Sports and Entertainment Authority will enter into a 40-year lease with the company.
The project includes $110 million in on-site infrastructure including site development and roadway, signal, and intersection improvements funded through the bonds. VDOT, Alexandria DOT, MSE, JBG SMITH, and transportation consultants continue to refine a detailed analysis of the National Landing corridor needs, with input from regional partners, the business community, and residents to ensure a safe, reliable, and successful Entertainment District. Potential transportation improvements will focus on transit, roadway, smart mobility, and neighborhood protection.
This public-private partnership is subject to legislative approval by the Virginia General Assembly and the City of Alexandria.