Move over, D.C. United deal: The city may have a new stadium plan to get riled up about.
Tony Robinson, spokesman for City Administrator Allen Lew, confirms that the District is in discussions with the Washington Wizards to build a basketball training facility in Shaw. The facility, according to NBC4, which first reported the news, would cost $30 to 40 million and would be paid for with a tax increase on Wizards ticket sales. Robinson says those details have yet to be worked out. “That’s part of the discussion,” says Robinson. “I don’t think anything has been decided yet.”
The facility would be located on the 900 block of Rhode Island Avenue NW, on a portion of the city-owned site that’s also set to become home to Shaw Middle School when it’s rebuilt and reopened. The site currently holds a garden nursery, a skate park, and other public spaces. The facility would likely be co-located with the school, and could host not only Wizards practices but also possibly Washington Mystics games.
A spokesman for Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Wizards, did not return a call for comment.
According to NBC4’s Mark Segraves, the new facility could “convince more players to live in the city and pay taxes here” and help attract superstars like the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant.
Because, as we all know, the only thing standing between Durant and the Wizards—-or between the current Wizards and D.C. residency—-is a practice facility in Shaw.
This post has been updated to include comment from Robinson.
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