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On January 11, 2018, Mayor Muriel Bowser joined the Ward 8 community to celebrate the “topping out” of the Entertainment and Sports Arena at St. Elizabeths East, signifying that the 4,200-seat Entertainment and Sports arena reached its total height of construction.
“Today, we put the top on a one-of-a-kind facility that is already bringing jobs to Ward 8, and there is still so much more to come,” said Mayor Bowser. “This project is bigger than basketball – it is about building pathways to the middle class and expanding prosperity by bringing jobs, entertainment, affordable housing, and more to every corner of our city.”
In 2015, the Bowser Administration, Events DC, and Monumental Sports & Entertainment announced plans to build the Entertainment and Sports Arena at the St. Elizabeths East Campus in Congress Heights in order to spur economic prosperity and create a thriving and vibrant community. The venue will act as home court for the Washington Mystics, and new G League team, Capital City Go-Go, as well as the official practice facility for the Washington Wizards. In addition, the Entertainment and Sports Arena will also host community and cultural events.
The 120,000 square-foot facility is projected to produce $90 million in new tax revenue over 20 years and attract more than 380,000 visitors per year. The project has already created 600 construction jobs, and the arena will create another 300 permanent jobs once completed. Additionally, eleven Ward 7 and 8 businesses have been hired as subcontractors in trades such as excavation, flooring, roofing, and concrete; 62 percent of the contracts have been awarded to CBEs; and $8.8 million dollars in contracts have been awarded to Ward 7 and 8 businesses.