Maybe you’ve heard but if you haven’t - and that seems impossible - Georgetown alumnus Ted Leonsis wants to move his NBA and NHL franchises from Washington DC across the river to Alexandria, Va. and create something of a Monumental Sports and Entertainment campus.
If you can remember, and I can as a kid, the last time those two professional franchises went on the move in the 90’s, Georgetown men’s hoops followed right along from Landover, Md. down to Chinatown.
This time, however, that doesn’t seem to be the case as Georgetown’s status as a major tenant in the District’s pro arena has diminished over the course of the last decade. On Wednesday the Hoyas weren’t given so much as a one sentence cameo by anyone during the Monumental PR event with Virginia officials at the proposed site not too far from National Airport.
Under the plan, both teams would move to a new facility anchoring a massive mixed-use development in Alexandria’s Potomac Yard neighborhood, per sources.— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) December 11, 2023
Cap One could still host concerts and college bball games. Earliest Caps/Wiz could leave is 2027. https://t.co/Hhw6NHgwHQ
On Thursday current Georgetown coach Ed Cooley was asked about his thoughts on the subject and he of course deferred to those above him.
“From a coaching standpoint I think we have one of the elite college presidents, one of the elite college athletic directors - that’s their job,” Cooley said to a group of reporters at the TAC.
“My job is to worry about Notre Dame, worry about Big East play. That will take care of itself however it does. We’re excited to play there. We hope we’re still playing there. Let them deal with it, that’s there job not mine. My job is to worry about Notre Dame, seriously.”
On Friday afternoon, former Georgetown coach (and current Monumental executive) John Thompson III was on with Grant and Danny on 1067 The Fan in the DC radio market and was asked about Georgetown remaining at Capital One. He thinks the Hoyas will stay put if the deal with Northern Virginia goes through for the Wiz/Caps.
JT3 was just on with @granthpaulsen and asked about Georgetown staying at a reconfigured Capital One Arena.— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) December 15, 2023
"I don't anticipate that changing. They are going to stay there."
The thought here is that Capital One Arena would stay open for the Mystics, Georgetown and smaller events in a reconfigured setup with the seating capacity dropped down to about 10,000. Currently, the arena holds about twice that for basketball.
Word on the street is that the current plan is for the Hoyas to remain at a Cap One even after the Potomac Yards facility is complete, with the Arena being transformed into a more intimate approximately 10K seat venue.— Casual Hoya (@CasualHoya) December 14, 2023
Switching gears a bit but staying with venue discussion, I asked Cooley about the idea of playing exam week games on campus. The final box score for Georgetown’s 71-54 victory over Coppin State listed attendance at 2,924. My best guess of fans in the building towards halftime after trying to count a few sections and then multiple it out was around 800 spectators.
Georgetown - Coppin State, the ball is tipped pic.twitter.com/gOgExkd7uq— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) December 13, 2023
“I don’t foresee us doing that,” Cooley said about staying on campus during exams in the future.
“That’s not what we came here to do. And again as we’re building and we’re establishing ourselves here those crowds will change. Those crowds will change. Television impacts the timing. Maybe we don’t play games during exams in that situation. There will be adjustments, maybe some tweaks made with the schedule for us to make sure - again we’re just getting here. This is all new. I don’t want to overreact because things have happened under which things have been done before. When it’s all said and done the plane will land smoothly.”
And so there you have it. Capital One Arena is your home for Georgetown basketball until further notice. We think.