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Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson on Idea to Pair Tysons Casino with New Wizards/Caps Arena: “This is not the way that business should be done in our Commonwealth”

House Approps Vice Chair Mark Sickles: "I wouldn’t even put it in the category of Hail Mary...I would say bad dream."


See below for some reactions to this new story in the WaPo, which reports:

“With Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s plan to build a $2 billion arena in Alexandria for the Washington Capitals and Wizards in jeopardy, three political and business figures have been pitching an unlikely Hail Mary: an idea to pair the sports arena with a new casino in Fairfax County.

Instead of building the arena in Potomac Yard with taxpayer-backed bonds, their plan called for putting it in the Tysons area alongside the casino, with tax revenue generated by gambling used to guarantee the arena bonds.”

In response, Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson – who has been a big backer of putting a new Wizards/Caps arena at Potomac Yard – posted, “This is not the way that business should be done in our Commonwealth…This is disappointing.”

Also, check out the response by Ben Tribbett, who the article calls “a prominent Fairfax political and business consultant who counts Surovell, Comstock [the company seeking to build the casino] and the arena’s chief opponent, Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), as clients — say it could revive both projects and satisfy Lucas.” According to Tribbett, he’s “Laughing my ass off at the Monumental incompetence…No wonder they can’t get anything done – they have no allies left.”

From the article, a few more reactions include:

  • Sen. Louise Lucas: “She said she did not know enough about the idea to offer an opinion.”
  • Senate Majority Leader Scott Surovell: “As this [arena] project has imploded in the last three weeks … one of the concepts that I floated was the possibility of merging the arena with a Northern Virginia casino and using the casino tax revenue to backstop the bonds instead of the state’s general fund. Monumental was not a fan, and that was the end of the conversation.”
  • JBG Smith (“which would build the arena”) Chief Executive Matt Kelly: “it was ill-conceived and naive from the beginning because nobody ever came to Monumental and said, ‘Do you want to do this?’ — not until this week. It’s amateurish.”
  • Glenn Youngkin, through a spokesman: “The Governor expressed immediately and directly that he had no interest in the arena-casino deal proposed to Monumental.”
  • Del. Mark Sickles, vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee: “I wouldn’t even put it in the category of Hail Mary…I would say bad dream.”

I’ll add more reactions as I see them. What do you think? Were you getting excited about the prospect of going to a Tysons Wizards or Tysons Caps game, then maybe heading next door for some gambling at the Tysons Casino? LOL


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