DC to spend tens of millions on WNBA arena in city’s poorest neighborhood

DC to spend tens of millions on WNBA arena in city’s poorest neighborhood

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.

Max Brown, chair of Events DC, said the project marked a chance to bring entertainment and sporting events to a neglected part of the city.

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