There have been talks and rumors that the Washington Wizards may move to Virginia. The last team to switch locations to a different state was the Nets who moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn, New York in 2013.
The Wizards have been in Washington since 1998 at the Capital One Arena. Before that, they were in Landover, Maryland at Capital Centre under the Capital/Washington Bullets name. For 10 years (1963-73) they were based Baltimore, Maryland as the Baltimore Bullets. They won their lone championship here in Washington, D.C.
They have been a fixture in the DC culture. It would be a big blow to lose one of DC’s biggest teams. There are more reasons why the Wizards should NOT move from the District but there are also some benefits. Let’s go through the pros and cons.
Why the Washington Wizards should move out of the District
It may be a good idea to move away from DC because of the arena. Capital One Arena is located Chinatown. The arena is aging despite changes are being made to it currently. The Wizards are under new management and going through a rebuild with their roster so a new arena can serve as a starting point for a new era.
Starting fresh could be a good idea for a team that has historically struggled to stay relevant and keep fans interested. Ushering in a new era and appealing to a new fanbase while doing so could lead to an increase in team revenue.
Another reason why the organization could be considering a move is because of the crime rising in the District, especially in Chinatown. Despite its convenient location, A lot of people prefer not to hang out late night in Chinatown, or DC in general. There have been a lot of murders, car theft and robberies.
Why the Washington Wizards should NOT leave DC
Washington, D.C. has always been considered the center of the DMV. It makes sense to keep the Wizards in the center because it’s an easy commute for fans who come from either Virginia or Maryland to make their way to root for the local team.
The Wizards moving to Virginia may be an inconvenience for those fans who commute from outside on the DMV. For me personally, it would be harder to commute from Virginia back to Maryland on a late night after the game. It would be very annoying. So, I’m all for not moving the team out of DC.
A lot of businesses will suffer from the lack of foot traffic in the area if the team moves. This can cause store closures, people losing their jobs, losing livelihoods.
"“We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the arena this year and will continue to invest to build a best-in-class operation for the next 25 years … In the coming year, we plan to invest an additional $80+ million in building out new office space … state-of-the-art broadcast studios … and upgrading the arena’s infrastructure.”"
This quote coming from Monumental Sports suggests that the Wizards will not be moving anyway and staying out in DC. Capital One has gone through some changes over the years and have been committed to making a very nice, up to date arena from what I saw last season during my numerous trips to the games.
As a DMV citizen, I truly hope and believe that the Wizards will stay in Washington DC. It just seems like an easier commute for fans and the team is engraved in the District culture, so it’s only right they stay.