Leonsis May Add Arena Football Team To Verizon Center’s Roster
The District’s crowded sports landscape could have a new addition as soon as spring 2017.
Ted Leonsis' Monumental Sports and Entertainment is close to adding an Arena Football League team to the roster at Verizon Center, the Washington Post reports. The league is looking to expand its presence on the East Coast and is attracted to the DC market, as well as the opportunity to work with Leonsis' ownership group.
The Arena League is strikingly different from the NFL product we all know and (some) love, as play is contested on a 50-yard field with only eight players per side and tends to be faster and higher-scoring. Current franchises include the Philadelphia Soul and LA KISS, which count Ron Jaworski, and Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley (both of the rock group Kiss) among the respective teams’ ownership groups. Notable luminaries of the league include current Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, and former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner, the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIV.
There was some initial thought given to housing an AFL team at the planned 5,000-seat Wizards practice facility and entertainment venue at the St. Elizabeths east campus, but the project’s current design wouldn’t make it a good fit for football. The new facility is poised to host Wizards practices, Mystics home games and concerts. [WaPo]