Verizon Center's New Electronic Signs Garnering Complaints From DC Neighbors
For some residents and businesses near Verizon Center, the venue's new electronic billboards "have created frustration and exacerbated a two-year battle" with the arena, according to Luz Lazo of the WASHINGTON POST. The new signs were approved by DC last year "after months of public debate over the request" by Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder, Chair & CEO Ted Leonsis to "erect the animated billboards." Residents and community leaders "said then that they feared the signs would be intrusive." However, the DC Council "unanimously backed the proposal, with some members saying it was necessary to replace outdated billboards in one of the city’s growing entertainment districts." MSE Exec VP & General Counsel Randall Boe said that the billboards, which "went live last month, are more than a new revenue source." Lazo writes the signs will help make the Wizards and Capitals "more competitive and create excitement and fan support among visitors and residents." But some residents said that the full-motion billboards "are out of place in an area that is considered historic and that is home to the National Portrait Gallery." Mital Gandhi, president of the condominium association at the Residences at Gallery Place, which is located next to Verizon Center, said that for most of his residents "the billboards debate has become more about getting Verizon Center to invest in security and keep the area clean." Boe said that Verizon Center "wants to be a good neighbor, has listened to the concerns and wants to work with residents to 'make life easier and better for folks'" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/21).