Greene Turtle At Capital One Arena To Close As Monumental Plans New 'Business Concept'
The Capital One Arena will soon welcome a new concept in the prime retail space on the Sixth and F street NW corner.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment bought out The Greene Turtle's lease three years ahead of its expiration and plans to introduce a "proprietary business concept" in the space, the restaurant chain announced Thursday.
The arena's owner has not unveiled any details about what is coming to the space, but the timing could indicate a concept centered around sports betting.
In December, the District passed a law legalizing sports betting, becoming the eighth jurisdiction to do so after the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way with a May decision. The D.C. Council Feb. 19 approved a second piece of legislation to fast-track sports betting in the city by giving D.C. Lottery vendor Intralot the exclusive contract to operate its online platform, bypassing a potentially lengthy procurement process and paving the way for the platform to launch by the start of the NFL season in September.
Monumental CEO Ted Leonsis has been vocal about his support for sports betting, and the D.C. law has a specific license designed for betting inside the District's sports arenas.
"As we look to the future, an opportunity to expand our footprint has prompted us to explore new developments in all of the space in the arena," Monumental President of Business Operations Jim Van Stone said in a release.
The Greene Turtle, which has occupied the space since 2007, will operate through April 9, when the Washington Wizards host the Boston Celtics for the final regular season home game. It will then set up a pop-up venue branded as The Shell Raiser Lounge for any Wizards and Capitals playoff home games this year.
The restaurant chain, headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, currently has 45 locations across the Mid-Atlantic. Green Turtle CEO Bob Barry described the arena's buyout offer as "generous" and said the funds will be used to upgrade the company's other locations. He also said it is exploring opening new D.C. restaurants.
"Our Capital One Arena restaurant has served more than 250,000 residents, commuters and tourists every year," Barry said. "That's a big number to leave behind, however this arrangement will afford us an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen our offering, attract guests to other locations and draw in many more. We see many positives."