Skip to content

Editorial: Proposal to move sports teams is no slam dunk

We're just going to sit back and see how it plays out

“It’s official” were the first two words of an Alexandria Times report last week on the proposal to build a new home for the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals adjacent to the Potomac Yard Metro station.

The proposal itself certainly is official. But that doesn’t mean it’s a done deal (as that paper’s editorial page correctly noted). Sure seems unlikely District of Columbia leaders will go down without a fight, and the financing remains, let’s just say, a work in progress. There also are questions about the impacts to the neighboring Del Ray community and effect on the city’s stormwater facilities.

And never forget that just 20 years ago – admittedly a lifetime in some respects – residents of the Route 1 corridor that spans Alexandria and Arlington successfully killed plans for a Major League Baseball stadium. And 30 years ago, the same thing happened with a promised NFL stadium.

If anything, last week’s rush to get out an announcement and ginned-up fanfare before questions started circulating suggested a degree of weakness, not strength, among backers of the plan, Gov. Youngkin included. Time will tell.

We say this not to rain on the parade, as no doubt the plan could bring with it many positives. We’ll let Alexandria residents, state legislators and other involved parties wrangle over the specifics. Until a final decision is reached, you’ll forgive us if we don’t cover this under a microscope.

When it comes to issues not directly in our coverage area, like this one, we borrow a page from U.S. Navy Fleet Admiral Ernest King, chief of naval operations during World War II. When asked what the Navy should tell the American public about military strategy to win the war, crusty King replied: “Don’t tell them anything. When it’s over, tell them which side won.” We will.