At Monumental Sports and Entertainment, our plate is overflowing, and we are committed to giving some of that abundance back to the DMV community – our home. I’m proud to share that yesterday, the Wizards and Monumental completed a Wizards Care legacy project in Ward 8: renovating the science lab at Hendley Elementary School.
From the announcement by the Wizards yesterday:
The three-day project started June 27
th with Wizards players Sheldon Mac, Chris McCullough, Daniel Ochefu and staff cleaning out the room, setting up new equipment and painting the classroom. Phil Chenier joined the group as new science lab tables, stools and equipment for the STEM curriculum were installed. A new Wizards-themed mural designed by local artist Taylor Trostle, who donated her time, was also added to the classroom.
Hendley Elementary was the adopted school for Monumental Sports & Entertainment during the 2016-17 season.
The Ward 8 community is important to us. We are proud to be moving the Mystics, our new G League team, which we announced last week, and the Wizards practice facility to the campus of St. Elizabeths in Ward 8 next fall. A huge thank you to the city and to Events DC for the work that has already begun on this new state-of-the-art facility. We very much look forward to bringing our teams to the neighborhood – to create jobs in the community, provide training to young people, support a wide range of needed community services and continue building on the strong relationship Monumental has with charities that serve Ward 8.
At Monumental we try to live by the double bottom line philosophy – the belief that the companies that do best aren’t just those that do well, but those that also do good. Since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, MSE staff alone have volunteered more than 1,189 hours with partnering organizations D.C. Central Kitchen, Capital Area Food Bank, Everybody Wins! DC, Martha’s Table, Fort Dupont, Playworks DC and Anacostia Waterfront Trust. Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation donated more than $775,000 to local charities, and during the holidays, we adopted 34 local families, providing them with clothing, electronics, toys, books and gift cards. And our work with the DC College Access Program (DC-CAP), where I am proud to chair the board, helps provide educational opportunity for kids who don’t have as many resources.
Community service remains a core corporate value for us even as Monumental has become one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing enterprises not just in Washington, DC, but in all of sports. We are proud to focus on what we can do to as a company to help our neighbors, even as we have generated a flurry of growth over the past year. To me, that speaks volumes about the incredible people we have working at Monumental – and what they have been able to accomplish.
On the teams side, in addition to being the only ownership group to own two major league teams that went deep into the second round of their respective playoffs, we have also quickly rebuilt the Washington Mystics, adding new star players in Kristi Toliver and Elena Delle Donne. We purchased and launched two Arena Football League teams in the Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade, and we are working hard to grow the AFL itself into its potential as a Millennial and Gen X hit. We acquired an NBA G League team. We announced we would participate in NBA 2K esports league and host a team, as well as made an investment in Team Liquid, the best esports team playing on multiple platforms. They, in fact, just defended their championship at Epicenter 2017, one of the biggest tournaments in the country, last week.
In short, we are the only organization on the planet to own or operate 8 teams: NHL, NBA, WNBA, G League, two AFL and two esports teams!
On the venue side, we continue to invest in a big way in Verizon Center – and we will announce a series of major new renovations and exciting news soon regarding partnerships here. Verizon Center is one of the busiest venues on Earth—in calendar year 2016, the Verizon Center hosted 218 events and brought 2.7 million people through the doors – and Billboard Magazine ranked us 8
th in the nation and 13
th worldwide among top-grossing venues with a capacity of over 15,000. Greater Washington DC is becoming a super city, and Verizon Center is at the center of the action. As they say, "F Street is fun street!"
In Northern Virginia, we continue to work with our partners at George Mason University and manage the EagleBank Arena on campus, and Kettler Capitals Iceplex is still the best practice facility in the NHL and is the anchor for the new Ballston Mall development effort. We remain very committed to Northern Virginia and we are pleased that the community values our presence, our players and our employees in Ballston and that they are investing in a big way to uplift the neighborhood.
In media, we launched a new long term unique partnership with Comcast and NBC Sports, we signed a new longterm deal to broadcast all Caps and Wizards games exclusively on Comcast SportsNet while receiving a minority equity position in the network and we also successfully launched the first Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) and Over-The-Top (OTT) network for local sports and entertainment called Monumental Sports Network. MSN is the first-of-its-kind network. We are doing pioneering work here and I am very proud of all of the people working on this important project for us. The network has streamed more than 300 live games since launching in October, and has created more than 250 episodes of original programming. Kudos to the people of Monumental Productions for creating such compelling and high-quality content.
That’s a long way of saying – our plate is full (even overflowing!), and we are working hard to ensure that we remain not just one of the most dynamic, aggressive companies in Washington, but also one of its best neighbors.