SBD/March 7, 2013/Facilities

Leonsis Gets City Approval For Controversial Digital Signs At Verizon Center

Newly placed digital signs at Verizon Center are expected to cost $4-6M
A pair of "controversial, billboard-size digital signs will grace the facade of Verizon Center by summer, generating millions in new revenue" for Wizards and Capitals owner Monumental Sports & Entertainment, according to Thomas Heath of the WASHINGTON POST. The signs, which had "drawn public opposition because of their size and bright lights, overcame their final hurdle this week when they received permit approval from the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs." MSE Founder, Chair & CEO Ted Leonsis, whose company also owns Verizon Center had "fought a two-year battle to get the city’s approval for the project." MSE Vice Chair Raul Fernandez said, "The digital signs will also help us spotlight some of our ... content." Sources said that the signs cost $4-6M and are "expected to recoup that outlay in the first 12 months." Leonsis "compromised on key issues, such as turning the signs off at midnight, reducing the light intensity and agreeing not to allow tobacco advertising or political ads." The sign panels are "under construction by China-based Sansi" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/7).
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