Capital One Arena Replaces Verizon Center

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The Capital One Arena, formerly the Verizon Center, is at 601 F St. NW. Courtesy Monumental Sports & Entertainment.

The Verizon Center, a sports and entertainment arena originally known as the MCI Center, became the Capital One Arena on Aug. 9.

Monumental Sports and Entertainment, which owns the 20,000-seat F Street venue, sold the naming rights to Capital One for $10 million per year, according to the Washington Post, which reported that “financial details were not released, but the deal is worth $100 million over 10 years, according to a source familiar with the arrangement.”

Monumental, which owns the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals, announced a $40-million investment in the facility. The Capital One Arena is also home to the Washington Mystics and the Georgetown University men’s basketball team.

The one-million-square-foot arena runs along F Street from Sixth and Seventh Streets NW in Chinatown and opened in 1997 as the MCI Center, sparking an economic boom in the neighborhood. Verizon assumed the naming rights when the company acquired MCI.

In addition, Capitol One is acquiring retail property at Georgetown’s most famous corner — Wisconsin Avenue and M Street — from Kevin Plank’s Sagamore Development for a record $50.2 million. The 3150 M St. NW address was once home to the legendary Nathans Restaurant.

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One is completing its one-two-three punch to branding recognition by building a new building — to be the region’s tallest — which will be anchored by a theater and a Wegmans grocery store. Capital One is a bank holding company that is the ninth-largest bank in the U.S. in terms of assets.

With the move, D.C. gets back its so-called Cap Center (the name of a defunct stadium in Lanham, Maryland). As one real estate news outlet opined: “The phone booth” can now be called “the ATM.”  Capitol One signage will go up on the building by fall.

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