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New petition calls for halt of Potomac Yard arena before ‘ruining our communities’

Rendering of aerial view of Monumental Arena development (image courtesy of JBG SMITH)

A new Change.org petition opposing the new Washington Wizards/Capitals arena at Potomac Yard is slowly gaining steam.

Last week, Ted Leonsis, the CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment and owner of both teams, announced the move alongside Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson. The $2 billion proposal would mean a new entertainment district for the area, which critics say will worsen traffic and decrease property values.

The petition, posted “on behalf of residents in the Alexandria and NoVA region,” launched on Dec. 13 and has garnered more than 300 signatures. It says that Virginia lawmakers are finalizing a deal that “will bring a new, disruptive entertainment and sports arena to Potomac Yard.”

“We call on our state and local officials to listen to their constituents and stop this initiative from ruining our communities,” the petition states. “Bringing this enormous commercial facility to the area will completely undermine what Alexandria is and the value it brings to residents, homeowners, families, and local businesses. Everything that makes this area great will go away.”

The petition says that the development will:

  • Greatly worsen traffic
  • Deteriorate integrity of historic communities
  • Disrupt lives of families & children
  • Decrease property values
  • Increase crime
  • Diminish small neighborhood dynamic
  • Negatively impact natural environment
  • Bring noise pollution
  • Put taxpayer money into billionaire pockets

A recent ALXnow poll on the subject garnered more than 2,500 votes, with 46% voting that the new arena plans are terrible, 31% voting that it’s a great idea and 23% reserving judgement until more plan details are released.

The development has raised serious transportation concerns, recently from Metro General Manager Randy Clark, who said that the nearby Potomac Yard Metro station can’t handle arena-size crowds.

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