DC attorney general says Capitals and Wizards are locked into their lease until 2047 – Washington Examiner

The Washington Wizards and Capitals are contractually required to to remain in Washington, D.C., until at least 2047, according to district Attorney General Brian Schwalb.

It’s the latest blow to Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s effort to move the teams to Virginia.

“I am advising you that the District does not agree with your legal conclusion [Monumental’s] proposed arena move to Virginia does not violate or breach its legal obligations to the District,” Schwalb said in a letter to MSE.

The attorney general said MSE cannot get out of the lease agreement by simply paying “its outstanding bond debt.” He continued, “The District is fully committed to maintaining, building upon, and strengthening its relationship with MSE.”

Schwalb also said MSE broke the contract it had by not informing city officials of any intent to move the teams.

“If MSE intends to relocate the Wizards or Capitals from Capital One Arena, MSE must (1) notify the District of its intent, (2) negotiate exclusively and in good faith with the District for a period of six months, (3) refrain from negotiating with anyone else during that exclusive negotiation period,” Schwalb said.

Last month, MSE said it was not in violation of the lease agreement. 

“We would not have started negotiations with the city or Virginia over the last two years without sound legal counsel,” Monica Dixon, MSE’s president of external affairs, said in February.

Ted Leonsis, Wizards and Capitals owner, could use a potential negotiation with Maryland to leverage district lawmakers in a new contract. 

According to the Baltimore Banner, Gov. Wes Moore (D-MD) and Leonsis engaged in talks about moving the teams to Maryland after Virginia lawmakers did not include arena plans in the state’s budget. Leonsis is reportedly focused on resuming the negotiations to move the teams to Virginia at the Potomac Yard site in Alexandria.


The teams are unlikely to move to Maryland as the state engaged with a lengthy negotiation with the Baltimore Orioles and questions remain about the future of FedEx Field, home of the Washington Commanders. 

In the letter, Schwalb urged Leonsis to meet with district officials on the matter. Mayor Muriel Bowser said her $500 million pledge to modernize the Capital One Arena remains on the table.