Saturday 17 February 2024

Democrats Try To Force Professional Sports Teams To Stay In D.C. As Crime Skyrockets

 As businesses flee Washington, D.C., due to rising crime, Democrats have fought back against plans for two of its professional sports teams to leave D.C. for Virginia. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser (D-D.C.) has pushed for the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals to stay in the city after Monumental Sports and Entertainment, the organization that owns both teams, announced plans last year to move the franchises to Virginia. The move has been promoted by Governor Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) who wants to help finance the move, but some Democrats in the Virginia state Senate are attempting to kill the measure. 

Both teams play at the Capital One Arena, an area that has not been immune to rising crime in recent years. Ted Leonsis, the CEO of Monumental Sports, has reportedly been concerned about crime in the area for months and said moving to Virginia is a wise business decision. 

According to police data, there were 168 more incidents of crime in the area within 1,000 feet of the arena in the last two years compared to the two previous years. This included seven sex abuse crimes, 15 assaults with a dangerous weapon, 51 robberies, 136 thefts from cars, 64 stolen cars, and a homicide. The data show that incidents of violent crime have more than doubled comparing the last two years from the previous two. 

D.C. Police statistics.

A crime map generated using D.C. police statistics shows a ring of criminal incidents encircling the arena.

D.C. Police statistics.

Bowser has offered Monumental roughly $500 million in incentives to keep it in the area, which she said would help it “avoid any broken promises, breached leases or potential litigation.”

“We intend to keep our end of the bargain and enforce the leases with Monumental that require the Wizards and Capitals to play at the arena through 2047 and the Mystics to play in Congress Heights through 2037,” Bowser said in an op-ed earlier this week for the Washington Post. “If Monumental goes ahead and breaks its leases, the short-term impact will be tough, not only on the neighborhood, but on our entire city. But let me be clear: The city owns the land under the Capital One Arena and will own the building should Monumental break its lease.”

Bowser’s pitch, which discounted crime as a reason for the proposed move, got a little tougher on Wednesday after a man was reportedly robbed by two men with a gun and a knife on 6th St and F St NW D.C., just outside of the arena. 

When asked by The Daily Wire, D.C. police were unable to confirm a call for service from that address on Wednesday. 

Youngkin has hoped to contribute $2 billion in state bonds to construct an arena in a deal with Monumental Sports, a proposal that has been approved by the state House but is currently facing an uphill battle in the state Senate with Finance and Appropriations Chair L. Louise Lucas opposing the funding. 

Despite rising crime, D.C. councilmembers attempted to overhaul the city’s criminal code last year to impose lighter punishments on crime, an effort that was eventually shot down by the White House after the Republican majority in the House voted in February to disapprove of the Revised Criminal Code Act with the support of 31 Democrats.

In 2023, the city saw the highest number of homicides in over 20 years as well as a rash of carjackings. Mike Gill, a former member of the Trump administration, died earlier this month after being gunned down on K Street while picking up his wife. 


In response, many businesses have moved to nearby Northern Virginia or closed their doors altogether. The CoStar Group, an analytics and marketing group, announced this week it would be moving its headquarters from D.C. to Arlington. 

On Thursday, the Stadium Sports Bar and Smokehouse in Navy Yard near the Washington Nationals baseball stadium, another area that has been plagued with crime, announced it was closing down in part because of an “uptick in crime.” 

Former President Donald Trump has decried the lawlessness of D.C. and has proposed a“federal takeover of this filthy and crime-ridden embarrassment to our nation.”

“We’re going to federalize it. We’re gonna have the toughest law enforcement in the country. We’re not going to have any more crime and it’s going to look beautiful,” Trump said. 

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