Roundtable on St. Elizabeths Basketball Facility


Proposed Mystics and Wizards Basketball Facility at St. Elizabeths East Campus

Council Chairman Phil Mendelson announces a public roundtable before the Committee of the Whole regarding the proposed Mystics and Wizards Basketball Facility at St. Elizabeths East Campus. The hearing will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 in Hearing Room 500, the Council Chamber, of the John A. Wilson Building.

The purpose of this roundtable is to receive testimony from the executive on details of the proposed basketball facility at St. Elizabeths East Campus. According to reports and a draft term sheet for the facility, the District would build an 118,000 square foot, 5,000 seat facility for use by the Washington Mystics WNBA basketball team for their home games, and the Washington Wizards NBA basketball team as a practice facility. Both teams are owned by Monumental Sports and Entertainment which would have a 19 year lease (leases under 20 years do not require submission to the Council for approval). The expected cost of the facility is $55 million, $23 million of which would be funded directly by the District from capital accounts offset by a $25 million contribution from Pepco related to the D.C. United soccer stadium. $27 million would be funded by Events DC which is a District independent authority managing the Washington Convention Center. The remaining $5 million would be provided by Monumental Sports as repayment of the 19-year lease rent, discounted for present value. This financing arrangement does not require affirmative Council Act. Management of the facility will be by Events DC.

Most projects of this magnitude of public funding would come to the Council for approval and subsequent funding. It is not clear what, if any agreements or contracts will come to the Council for approval, or when. This hearing will provide an opportunity for the Committee to get answers to such questions, as well as questions about the finding, management, community benefits, and effect on existing plans for the St. Elizabeths campus.

Those who wish to testify are asked to telephone the Committee of the Whole at (202) 724-8196, or email Evan Cash, Committee Director, at, and to provide name, address, telephone number, organizational affiliation and title (if any) by close of business Friday, December 11, 2015. Persons wishing to testify are encouraged, but not required, to submit 15 copies of written testimony. If submitted by the close of business on December 11, 2015, testimony will be distributed to Councilmembers before the hearing. Witnesses should limit their testimony to four minutes; less time will be allowed if there are a large number of witnesses.

If you are unable to testify at the roundtable, written statements are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record. Written statements should be submitted to the Committee of the Whole, Council of the District of Columbia, Suite 410 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004. The record will close at 5:00 p.m. on December 29, 2015.