WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ted Leonsis, chairman and CEO of newly created Monumental Sports & Entertainment, announced today that he and his partners have officially completed the transaction to purchase the NBA’s Washington Wizards and Verizon Center.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which merges Lincoln Holdings LLC and Washington Sports and Entertainment LP, combines three professional sports teams into one ownership group. The NBA’s Washington Wizards, NHL’s Washington Capitals and WNBA’s Washington Mystics now will be owned and managed by a single entity. Monumental also assumes ownership of Verizon Center, which is the premier sports and entertainment venue in Washington, D.C., and the anchor of the thriving 7th Street-Penn Quarter neighborhood. Additionally, the new group controls the local Ticketmaster franchise, Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the Capitals’ state-of-the-art training facility in Arlington, Va., and George Mason University’s Patriot Center, located in Fairfax, Va.
This transaction makes Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which operates in the nation’s fifth-biggest media market, one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports.
“My partners and I look forward to playing a more significant role in the fabric of the nation’s capital and the surrounding communities,” Leonsis said. “Sports have a significant impact on the day-to-day life of any great city and I believe that owning teams is a public trust. We are going to work hard to improve the fan experience at our games and to build championship-caliber teams. More important, we are going to work hard to make all of our teams worthy and deserving of our fans’ support and passion.”
The executive management team of Monumental Sports & Entertainment will include Leonsis as the majority owner, chairman and CEO. Dick Patrick will be vice chairman and COO while continuing to serve as president of the Capitals. Raul Fernandez will be a vice chairman as will Sheila Johnson, who will continue in her role as president and managing partner of the Mystics.
The NBA unanimously approved the sale of the Wizards to Leonsis’ group. “We are pleased that the NBA’s Board of Governors has approved Ted Leonsis’s purchase of majority ownership of the Wizards from the Pollin family,” said NBA commissioner David Stern. “The transaction signifies the end of an era and a passing of the torch into very capable hands. We have long admired what Ted has done with the Washington Capitals in terms of sales, marketing and outreach in the community, and we look forward to him bringing those skills to bear for the Wizards.”