Interesting analysis from former Virginia Lt. Gov Bill Bolling (R) about the proposed new Washington Caps/Wizards arena in Potomac Yard, Alexandria. Bottom line, per Bolling:
We were initially told that Governor Glenn Youngkin’s proposal to build a new sports and entertainment complex in the Potomac Yards area of Alexandria to lure the Washington Capitols and the Washington Wizards from D.C. to Virginia would not involve the use of any direct public (taxpayer) funds. However, that does not appear to be the case.
Youngkin initially said the funds Virginia was offering for the project came from revenue that would not exist without it being built. However, the attached article from The Washington Post, which discusses financing for the project in some detail, seeks to clarify exactly what the state and local role in funding the project would be.
According to a study prepared for the state by investment bank J.P. Morgan, the proposed project would receive the largest-ever public subsidy for a project of its kind, an estimated $1.35 billion in state and local funds.
By the way, note that Wizards/Caps owner Ted Leonsis is worth around $2.8 BILLION, so he definitely does NOT need taxpayer-funded corporate welfare. And that’s not even getting into all the issues/questions regarding Metro funding, transportation in general, whether or not his new arena would benefit the region, environmental impact, etc. So…let’s hope the General Assembly and Alexandria city officials take a looooong, hard look at this project before even thinking about giving it a green light.