Leonsis Sportsbook Arena Closer to Fruition in DC

Leonsis Sportsbook Arena Closer to Fruition in DC

Ted Leonsis professed his vision of what a modern sports/entertainment venue should entail and how gambling would augment it even before sports betting was legalized in the District of Columbia, where his Washington Capitals and Wizards are based.

And even with the practice mired in a regulatory swamp the D.C. City Council has yet to drain, the principal of Monumental Sports & Entertainment has unveiled the latest improvements to Capital One Arena, a venue Leonsis has seen as a showplace for his vision of modern sports entertainment.

"It'll drive traffic throughout the day,” Leonsis told WTOP of his arena plan earlier this year. “I don’t think 24 by seven, but we would like to be able to utilize where we're located in the city. I'm sure the [Washington Nationals} are looking at something similar."

As part of the privately funded $15 million project, the arena will feature a new high-end sports betting-themed eatery, according to NBC Washington.

“My expectation is that there will be built a very, very high-end world-class restaurant called the Sports Book,” Leonsis told NBC Washington. “There will be televisions showing games from all over the world and that people will be able to come in and watch games and dine and bet.”

NBC Sports Washington already offers a betting-themed broadcast for Wizards games.

Arena May Be Ready Before DC Market Offers Wagering

Sports betting became legal in The District in December but fallout from a controversial proposal to offer a no-bid contract to DC Lottery provider Intralot has slowed implementation and threatens to postpone it definitely.

MSE poured $40 million into Capital One Arena, which it owns, in an initial round of refurbishments. This phase, which is expected to be completed by the fall, would also include a 360-degree video board, 7,000 square feet of LED display and a 390-foot, 9,000-square-foot “SkyRing” screen that loops around the roofline of the arena bowl.

“By transitioning to a fully digital experience at Capital One Arena, our partners will have the ability to reach fans through more experiential, measurable and targeted content,” MSE Jim Van Stone, President of Business Operations and COO at MSE, in a press release. “This best-in-class technology also allows our busy building to have a truly unique feel every night through both owned assets and sponsor-specific content on our digital signage networks.”

District officials have continuously asserted under scrutiny that the desire to offer a no-bid contract was necessary to offer a financially beneficial service in a timely manner.

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