'Big Day for the Commonwealth': Virginia Governor Youngkin Scoops Wizards and Capitals From DC

Youngkin, Bowser (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
December 13, 2023

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R.) announced Wednesday that the Washington Wizards and Capitals are fleeing crime-ridden Washington, D.C., for the Old Dominion.

The basketball and hockey teams are planning to move across the Potomac from D.C. to Alexandria, Va. The teams' owner, Ted Leonsis, and Youngkin aim to build what Leonsis called "a world-class Entertainment District in Alexandria at Potomac Yard," which will house the teams' arena, NBC 4 Washington reported.

"This is a big day for the Commonwealth of Virginia—I might say it's even monumental," Youngkin told CNBC.

News of the move comes hours after Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser (D.) announced hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for renovating the teams' current arena in downtown D.C., according to NBC 4.

The teams are leaving D.C. as the deep-blue city grapples with skyrocketing crime rates under Bowser's watch. The city's police department reports 933 carjackings this year alone, 77 percent of which involve guns. The nation's capital is also seeing a wave of shootings and burglaries, leading a restaurant chain to announce its closure last month. Violent crime has jumped 40 percent since last year, according to police statistics, with robbery jumping 69 percent.

D.C.'s far-left leaders, however, have done little to stem the tide, even passing a bill that effectively bans police from chasing carjackers. The crime wave has gotten so bad that the Washington Post's liberal editorial board in October pleaded with city lawmakers to reverse the policy.

In Virginia, Youngkin has taken a very different approach to crime. The governor this year touted the success of his tough-on-crime Bold Blue Line program, which aims to "support law enforcement, crack down on illegal drugs, enforce tougher penalties for violent criminals and ensure safer communities across the Commonwealth."