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Governor discusses the sports and entertainment district’s future in Virginia



Richmond, Virginia – Leading politicians announced on Thursday that work on compromise budget legislation, which Virginia lawmakers will consider later this week, is finished and does not contain language authorizing a proposed move by the NHL’s Washington Capitals and NBA’s Washington Wizards to Alexandria.

The move does not necessarily signal the end of Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin’s strategy to entice the teams to move across the Potomac River by creating a $2 billion development zone that would include a brand-new arena. However, this strikes yet another blow to Youngkin’s idea, which was his main priority. Youngkin was scheduled to address at a press conference at 1 p.m.

The measure, which parliamentarians are scheduled to consider on Saturday, no longer contains any references to arenas, as revealed by Del. Luke Torian, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee and the leader of the talks for his chamber.

Torian expressed his disappointment that the wording about the legislation, which he had sponsored separately and lost earlier in the session, was not included in the budget.

“But that’s the nature of trying to govern here in the Commonwealth,” he said.

After earlier this session, separate versions of the legislation supporting the accord had failed, leaving the budget as the last remaining vehicle. After lawmakers transmit the budget to him, the governor may seek to change it to reinstate the project language or convene a special session to discuss the matter.

Sen. Louise Lucas, the leading negotiator for her chamber in the budget negotiations and leader of the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee, informed reporters that she had remained steadfast in her opposition to the agreement. She claimed that her worries over the suggested funding structure and its reliance on bonds backed by local and state governments remained unabated.

According to Torian, the measure included significant investments in essential government services as well as annual pay increases for teachers and other public servants.

The state’s online information system did not immediately provide the bill’s text.
In December, it was stated that Youngkin and CEO of Monumental Sports and Entertainment Ted Leonsis had agreed moving the Washington Wizards and Capitals.
Approximately miles from Capital One Arena, where the teams currently play in Washington, the plan calls for the creation of a $2 billion development, partially financed by public funds, in the Potomac Yard section of Alexandria. This development would include an arena, practice facility, and corporate headquarters for Monumental, in addition to a separate performing arts venue.

An AP representative was contacted to inquire about Monumental’s budget development.


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