News4 I-Team

Alexandria paid for an economic study of the Wizards and Caps arena plan. Here are the highlights

Economists hired by the city say the proposed arena in Potomac Yard will create thousands of jobs and billions in revenue across the state. The summary of their financial analysis was posted late Friday night before the Christmas weekend.

As the holiday weekend kicked off Friday night, the City of Alexandria gave a last-minute gift to the public: a summary of their financial analysis for the new $2 billion arena plan in Potomac Yard.

Economists hired by the city say it will create thousands of jobs and billions in revenue across the state.

The 30,000 predicted jobs across Virginia include positions directly and indirectly created by the arena district.

The plan calls for a new arena for the Capitals and Wizards. Those teams are expected to pay about $403 million -- around a quarter of the cost -- but it will be mostly financed by $1.5 billion in city- and state-issued bonds.

Under the plan, announced earlier this month, those bonds will be paid off with extra revenue raised by business in the arena district.

While the newly-released analysis predicts around $7.9 billion in annual revenue across the state, there is no explanation of how it will be created.


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The summary says the arena will be used for 221 nights. The NHL and NBA each play 82-game seasons (roughly 40 home games each). Without considering pre-season and possible playoff games, that would leave over 100 nights open for non-team events—not including the 115 events to be scheduled in the performing arts venue. The analysis does not say how many people have to attend, how much they will have to spend nor how many restaurants, apartments or businesses have to be occupied to fulfill projections.

Those answers may be in the full report, but only a summary was released Friday evening. You can read that summary by clicking here.

The city and state originally said they would roll out the plan Thursday, and didn’t answer when the I-Team asked if they were trying to ‘dump’ the news at 7:15 p.m. at the beginning of a holiday weekend.

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