St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena
The Entertainment and Sports Arena is a 118,000-square-foot multi-purpose events facility, located on the St. Elizabeths East Campus, in Congress Heights, a residential neighborhood in southeast Washington, D.C.
Exterior of the venue (c.2018)
|Address||1100 Oak Drive SE|
Washington, D.C. 20032
|Location||St. Elizabeths East Campus|
|Public transit||Washington Metro|
at Congress Heights
|Owner||District of Columbia|
|Broke ground||July 17, 2017|
|Opened||September 22, 2018|
|Construction cost||$69 million|
($70.5 million in 2018 dollars)
|Project manager||Brailsford & Dunlavey|
|Structural engineer||Setty & Associates|
|Services engineer||Wiles Mensch Corporation|
|General contractor||Smoot Construction|
|Main contractors||Gilbane Building Company|
|Capital City Go-Go (NBA G League) (2018–present)|
Washington Mystics (WNBA) (2019–present)
The arena was officially opened on September 22, 2018.
Location and designEdit
The 4,200-seat arena will mainly be used for basketball; however, there are plans for the facility to also host concerts, community events and other sporting events. The location of the arena was selected due to its proximity to St. Elizabeths Hospital, distance to the greater Washington, D.C. area, location to the Congress Heights station of the Washington Metro, the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and ability to improve the local community through jobs and infrastructure improvements.
Construction for the arena, to include razing of surrounding buildings, began on February 19, 2016. Of the $65 million estimated cost for construction, 90% of the cost will be taxpayer funded. The District of Columbia will own the facility while Events DC will operate the facility.
Members of the DC Council sought to introduce legislation capping public expenditure in the case of cost overruns. In July 28, Greg O'Dell, Chairperson of Events DC, requested an additional $10 million in funding while decreasing the number of seats in the facility. He said earlier estimates were premature. In 2018, O'Dell announced that the cost had increased to $68.8 million, due in part to additions like drywall, and catwalks and higher than anticipated costs like contractors. The final cost was nearly 25 percent more than estimated, which DC taxpayers were required to cover.
Events DC boasted about the number of local business used in the construction of the facility, but could not provide a list of any of the businesses. Local businesses reported that they were unable to find work at the site.
Events DC significantly underestimated the costs of operating the facility and in 2019 the Events DC board approved more than $1 million in additional costs to cover the shortfall. A contract for a firm to find naming rights for the facility was funded at $180,000 per year.
- PFL 10, a mixed martial arts event was held at the arena on October 20, 2018.
- "Facilities Guide: Entertainment & Sports Arena" (PDF). Events DC. May 4, 2019. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
- "DC Entertainment & Sports Arena in Southeast Opens". Retrieved September 23, 2018.
- "Location - St. Elizabeths ESA". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
- "Bowser Kicks Off St. Elizabeths Demolition for Wizards' Practice Facility". Retrieved August 1, 2017.
- "Bowser outlines details of St. Elizabeths deal". Retrieved September 15, 2015.
- O'Connell, Jonathan (March 1, 2016). "D.C. Council member proposes spending cap for Wizards facility". Washington Post.
- O'Connell, Jonathan (July 28, 2016). "Cost of Wizards practice facility rises $10 million before construction can even begin". Washington Post.
- GIAMBRONE, Andrew (March 1, 2018). "Price Tag of Taxpayer-Funded Wizards Arena Grows to $69 Million". The Washington City Paper.
- Baskin, Morgan (24 January 2019). "Construction Companies Open East-of-the-River Offices to Win Lucrative Contracts". Washington City Paper. Washington DC. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
- Cooper, Rebecca (15 May 2019). "D.C. reconciles true costs of running new arena at St. Elizabeths". Washington Business Journal. Washington DC. Retrieved 15 May 2019.