Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis is on the hunt for a new practice facility for Washington, D.C.'s basketball team, and it looks like he is now considering building on the site of the former St. Elizabeth's Hospital. The publicly funded facility is estimated to cost between $40 and $50 million. The facility will have streetside retail and approximately 5,000 seats. There's still no certainty as to how big the project will be. Leonsis told The Washington Post last November that he hoped to build a venue that would resemble the Chicago Bulls' practice facility, but it looks like that has been revised. Just recently, The Washington Post reported that there are hopes for the facility to be similar to the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston. The Ballston facility houses practice courts, a weight room, hydrotherapy pools, on-site chefs, coaches' offices, and massage tables.
Leonsis is also considering a site in Shaw, but many residents in the neighborhood have spoken out in protest and even drafted a petition. Rather than a practice facility, residents wish for a rebuilt Shaw Junior High School and more affordable housing. Leonsis is also considering sites in Crystal City, Ballston, and the Howard University campus. For now, while the future location is still unknown, Leonsis' determination to make the facility a reality seems to remain a constant.
· Leonsis, Wizards consider St. Elizabeths site for practice facility [The Washington Post]
· Washington Wizards Practice Facility Considered for Howard University Campus [Curbed DC]
· A Wizards Practice Facility in Shaw? No Thanks, Says Residents [Curbed DC]