Arena not included in state budget

Arena not included in state budget
The proposed arena in Potomac Yard was not included in the state budget, but is pending further action. (Photo/Jordan Tovin)

By Caitlyn Meisner |

The Virginia General Assembly completed the 2024 session Saturday without language or action on the Sports and Entertainment Authority that would issue bonds to the proposed Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals arena and entertainment district.

Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s December 2023 budget proposal included $500,000 for the Secretary of Finance to create and develop “potential economic incentives to attract sports teams to the state,” his proposal reads.

Bills to create the authority were never heard by the Senate due to opposition by Sen. Louise Lucas (D), chair of the finance and appropriations committee. The House of Delegates passed the bill on February 13.

But, this does not mean the arena deal is dead.

Youngkin can send down a budget amendment to include the arena proposal, which would have to wait until the General Assembly reconvenes on April 17 to finalize the budget. Youngkin could also call a special session and reintroduce the proposal as a standalone bill.