DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, in collaboration with Events DC, have announced the grand opening and initial performers for the capital’s newest entertainment and sports arena in Congress Heights. The 4,200-seat Entertainment and Sports Arena (ESA) will be a hub for entertainment, sporting events, esports and more. Grand opening celebrations are set for Sept. 22, while Mary J. Blige will be the first artist to perform at the facility on Oct. 6. On Oct. 13, Cage the Elephant will also play the new arena with Judah and the Lion.
The Arena will also serve as the practice facility for the NBA Washington Wizards and home court of the WNBA Washington Mystics and new NBA G-League team, the Capital City Go-Go.
“On September 22, we celebrate not just the opening of a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment facility, but the promise and opportunity that this project brings to the St. Elizabeths East campus,” said Mayor Bowser in a release. “The Entertainment and Sports Arena is the home our Mystics deserve. But it’s even more than that – this project is bigger than basketball. The ESA is about jobs, opportunity, and community; it’s about ensuring that every neighborhood, in every corner of our city has world-class housing and amenities.”
Officials from the city including Mayor Muriel Bowser, Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner, Max Brown, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer at Events DC, majority owner, Chairman and CEO of Monumental Sports, Ted Leonsis and local DC athletes and artists will be on hand for the official ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 22. The event will begin at 10:30am local time.
“This arena will be the perfect venue for intimate concerts, exciting entertainment events, and important civic and community activities,” said Brown, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Events DC in a release. “The Arena is in the heart of one of DC’s most important communities-Congress Heights-and will create a much-needed economic boost and significant expansion of sports and entertainment to a new corner of the city for residents and visitors to enjoy. We all thank Mayor Bowser for her vision in making this all a reality.”
Located on the former site of the St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Congress Heights in Ward 8, Entertainment and Sports Arena is projected to produce $90 million in new tax revenue over 20 years, attract more than 380,000 annual visitors per year to the Congress Heights neighborhood.
“We look forward to delivering unmatched event programming from esports and boxing to amateur sports and electrifying concerts – starting with our grand opening celebration blockbuster lineup!” said O’Dell in a release.