Caps, Wizards owner Ted Leonsis talks to News4 about Monumental Move – NBC4 Washington

For the first time since announcing his intentions to move the Washington Wizards and Capitals out of D.C. across the river to Virginia, owner Ted Leonsis is answering questions from reporters.

The proposal to build a “world-class” entertainment district in Alexandria instead of D.C. was announced in December by Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Leonsis, owner of Monumental Sports and Entertainment, the company that owns the teams.

Leonsis discussed the deal that would transform a growing Northern Virginia neighborhood and send shockwaves through downtown D.C., which is accustomed to hosting tens of thousands of fans but has struggled with crime.

People from “Stop the Arena” will lobby Thursday against the Capitals and Wizards arena moving from D.C. to Virginia. News4’s Juliana Valencia reports.

Q&A with Ted Leonsis

Editor’s Note: This is an abbreviated version of the Q&A. Tune in to News4 Today on Thurs. Feb. 8 at 4 p.m. for the full interview.

News4: What do you say to D.C. residents who feel like you’re abandoning the teams that have been here for so long?

Leonsis: I understand, and we’re going to be here for four or five more years, and the future is going to be fantastic. And we’re three and a half miles away. I don’t believe I’m abandoning D.C. That’s probably something that maybe I misunderstood. And I’ve been asked, well, what about the small business owners here? They’re not my constituency. My constituency are our fans, the players, the employees, the union workers–and they’re all going to benefit dramatically.

News4: You talk about that decision that Mr. Pollin made to move into D.C. He’s remembered as a great philanthropist, somebody who took a big risk on downtown, on this area, and really is the catalyst with his own money for what we enjoy now downtown. Are you concerned about your D.C. legacy?

Leonsis: Mr. Pollin was a great man, and whatever his legacy is, he earned it. He deserved it. I love the man. I’m going to build, though, the greatest building, the greatest sports community, because I’ve got the land and the room to do it. And then we’re going to win more Stanley Cups and we’re going to win an NBA championship. That’s how my legacy will be made. But you can’t define what my legacy is on NBC. That’s not for you to do. My legacy will be earned over a body of work, and I have zero concerns about what people think my legacy is right now for doing the right thing for my fans, for my players, for my employees.

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