Wizards Eyeing Roughly $20M Practice Facility That Will Be Separate From Verizon Center
Wizards Owner Ted Leonsis recently revealed that the team is "in the preliminary stages" of planning a practice facility separate from Verizon Center that will likely cost at least $20M, according to Michael Lee of the WASHINGTON POST. Leonsis "would like to complete the project by 2017, at the latest, and said the next step -- which has yet to begin -- is to find a location" in DC, Virginia or Maryland. He has "appointed a team to set the groundwork for a state-of-the-art basketball complex that would be the hardwood equivalent" to the Kettler Capitals Iceplex practice facility in Arlington, Va.. Leonsis said of practice facilities, "It’s almost become like an arms race. A lot of NBA teams started to make these big kind of investments, so we want to do it, too." The Wizards "have been practicing on a cramped court at Verizon Center since the building opened 16 years ago." Players after practices "often operate in the same spaces and have to move out of each other’s way as they run drills or shoot free throws." The WNBA Mystics also "practice on the court during the summer." Leonsis said that his preference would be for the facility to be "close to public transportation, similar to Kettler." He "would like to have multiple courts with stands so that high schools, colleges and other groups within the community could also use the facility to train and play games" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/16).