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Facilities Update
Events DC Presents Updated Design Rendering For Entertainment And Sports Arena

Design Evolution Incorporates Community and Initial Regulatory Process Feedback into the Project

Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, presented recently revised design renderings led by joint venture of architectural firms, Washington, DC-based Marshall Moya Design and international sports design firm, ROSSETTI, for the new Entertainment and Sports Arena in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC.

Located on the St. Elizabeths East Campus, the multi-purpose Entertainment and Sports Arena will serve as the home court for the WNBA's Washington Mystics.  The 4,200-seat arena will showcase Washington, DC's commitment to its professional sports teams, including a separate state-of-the-art venue and training facility for the Washington Wizards situated in a distinct space within the facility. 

"This important project for Ward 8 and the community continues to progress. This arena and training facility for the Washington Wizards will create hundreds of jobs; provide access to the building for recreation and programming; and deliver food and retail options for our residents," said Max Brown, chairman of the Board of Directors for Events DC.  "I couldn't be more excited about the response the community has to this project and the benefits to Congress Heights and all of Ward 8."

With each Arena design update, the project will reflect resident, stakeholder and partner feedback as a continued way to ensure the integration of community and professional sports and as an opportunity to build a path to a revitalized neighborhood in the District.  The ongoing design evolution of the project will model and incorporate community-centric elements from the bottom up, including innovative space planning and programming elements. 

"Events DC remains committed to engaging the community and stakeholders as we progress through this interactive process for the Entertainment and Sports Arena," said Gregory A. O'Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC.  "We are steadfast in providing a state-of-the-art entertainment arena and training facility for the Washington Wizards - but also an economic engine for the community and an amazing experience for visitors from around the city." 

The updated design acknowledges and responds to the existing urban fabric of St. Elizabeths' historic red brick campus without resorting to superficial imitation. The architectural design team will continue to work together to create a fresh, contemporary building whose size, scale and materiality all conspire to set the future Entertainment and Sports Arena apart as a world-class facility proudly located in the heart of DC's Ward 8 neighborhood. 

"As a native Washingtonian, I am personally very proud to be part of a project that is both reverential and transformative. We are honored to partner with this community to bring a design aesthetic that respects the history of the St. Elizabeths Campus, and we want our project to express the aspirations, pride and hope of Congress Heights," said Michael Marshall, Design Director, Marshall Moya Design. 

"We have spent a good portion of the last six weeks listening to and meeting with the key constitutes from the community groups, government agencies and have taken much of their input and incorporated it into what we believe will be a tremendous building," said Jerry Attia, Principal at ROSSETTI. "The Entertainment and Sports Arena will be a catalyst for future development and positive community engagement in Congress Heights, Ward 8 and the District.  We are honored to be involved in this one-of-a-kind cutting edge facility in our nation's capital, which will serve to unite people under the mantel of sports and civic pride. To that end, we thank the community for their input and look forward to continuing to partner with them to bring this important project to life."  

Through proposed selection of beautiful and sustainable materials the physicality of the building will be compatible with the existing St. Elizabeths campus while also identifying the Arena as a contemporary new urban landmark.  The main exterior cladding material of large scale brick-toned metal panels communicate a strong connection to the existing St. Elizabeths historic red brick structures in a very interesting and unique way.

The design refinement also showcases more community-friendly elements, including exciting new food vendors located along Oak Drive, which will provide the community with a range of grab & go and fast casual dining options immediately upon opening the facility. These vendors will operate independently of the Entertainment and Sports Area as an integrated retail component and as an avenue to provide community-serving resources during non-event times.  The cafe space will be accessible to the public realm - from both the sidewalk and concourse axis points - so that the community can enjoy retail options even when the Arena is not hosting events.

The joint venture announced in the fall of 2015 will be a catalyst for new opportunities in Ward 8 and citywide, attracting thousands of new residents and visitors year-over-year to Congress Heights, generating temporary construction and permanent jobs for both the arena and Phase I infrastructure of the St. Elizabeths East Campus redevelopment. Upon completion, Events DC will be responsible for the operation of the Arena.  Construction is scheduled to begin in 2017 with completion in the fall of 2018.