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Verizon Center Changes Name To Capital One Arena

The western side of the arena formerly known as the Verizon Center

The arena nicknamed "the phone booth" that takes up a full city block in Chinatown will now have to be referred to as "the ATM."

Monumental Sports and Entertainment has sold the naming rights of the Verizon Center to Capital One in a 10-year deal worth $100M, the Washington Post reports. The venue's name has changed, effective immediately, to Capital One Arena. 

Along with the name change, Monumental announced a separate $40M investment in the arena, which will go toward a system to use data to analyze fan preferences and toward creating a more efficient line system. 

Home to the NBA's Wizards and the NHL's Capitals, the 20,000-seat arena opened in 1997 as the MCI Center. It became the Verizon Center in 2006, and in 2010, the venue was acquired by Monumental CEO Ted Leonsis, who bought a majority share in the Wizards at the same time. He owned and continues to own the NHL's Washington Capitals, which plays its home games in the arena. 

The stadium is also home to the WNBA's Mystics and Georgetown basketball. An arena football team, the Washington Valor, began playing there in April. It also hosts concerts, with rapper J. Cole filling the stadium Tuesday night in its last event as the Verizon Center. 

The arena encompasses over 1M SF in the block bounded by Seventh, Eighth, F and G streets NW. The activity created by the arena has helped D.C.'s development wave move across the East End, and has contributed to the Seventh Street retail corridor having the highest rents of any strip in the city. 

The move is the latest major branding effort for McLean, Virginia-based Capital One. The bank recently acquired a retail property on a prime Georgetown corner for $50.2M, a price reached largely because of the corner's branding value. Capital One is also building a new 5.2M SF campus in McLean, which will have the region's tallest tower and will be anchored by a Wegmans and a performing arts center.