By Ken Reed

Washington D.C. taxpayers are about to get stuck paying $50 million of a $54.46 million, 5,000 seat, arena that will serve as a practice facility for the NBA’s Washington Wizards and be the home of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.

The Wizards say they need the new practice facility in order to compete with other NBA teams for free agent talent. In addition to the practice facility, the agreement with the District allows the Wizards to spend $3 million on equipment and furniture for the facility.

Meanwhile, sports facilities for D.C. high schools and youth sports programs are abysmal, in many instances. For example, D.C. high schools have to leave the city to conduct major track and field events.

Nevertheless, the Mayor of D.C., Muriel E. Bowser, is 100% behind a new practice palace for the Wizards. (As former NBA great Allen Iverson would say, “Practice? We’re talking about practice? Practice?”)

Hey Mayor Bowser, what about giving a much-needed financial boost to the city’s police, firefighters, paramedics and other public services instead of this new facility for the rich? Or, what about using the money to improve D.C.’s public school system?

Ah, who cares about the needs of the city when the local billionaire owner asks for taxpayer money to build a country club to help attract multi-millionaire NBA free agents?

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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