From the MCI Center to the Verizon Center and now officially the Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.’s teams will have a new name for their playing grounds.
Monumental Sports and Entertainment have announced the name change of the Verizon Center on Wednesday, now called Capital One Arena. It was previously the MCI Center from 1997-2006 and then the Verizon Center from 2006-2017. The signage and the branding makeover will occur some time in the Fall.
The sports arena is currently home to five sports teams: Wizards, Capitals, Mystics, Georgetown Hoyas and new Arena Football League team, the Washington Valor. It also has over 200 events and concerts a year including hosts of restaurants.
Monumental will soon announce about a $40 million investment in the sports arena with money going toward Monumental360 and a new point of sale system – most likely an ipad point of sale system, which will increase the speed of the purchasing process. This investment will also give discounts to Capital One card holders.
Wizards and Capitals owner, Ted Leonsis, said he’s been seeking a more team friendly deal for the last two years since the Verizon deal was set to expire in 2018. Leonsis said last year the mortgage cost about $36 million a year and he has the “worst building deal in professional sports.” Leonsis feels the name sounds fantastic and it contributes growth to the economy of the DMV.
“Capital One Arena is one of the few privately owned arenas in the country, and throughout its ownership, MSE has made over $100 million in investments to ensure the arena remains a best-in-class facility,” Leonsis wrote in a blog post. “I’m pleased to say we are making a further down payment on that commitment with this announcement today.”
The name change will take some getting used to. Natives and even tourists may still refer to the arena as the previous name Verizon Center as they did back in 2006 when referring to the building as the MCI Center. For the time being, the signs will still say Verizon Center, but come time for the new NBA season it’ll be “Welcome to the Capital One Arena!” heard and seen throughout the area.