Wizards’ Verizon Center could become Capital One Center next year

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Ted Leonsis owns the Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals, and the building they play in, the Phone Booth, officially known as the Verizon Center.

Leonsis inherited the naming rights deal on the arena in our nation’s capital, but that deal is up next year and Leonsis may be about to pull in a little more cash with a new arena sponsor. From the Washington Post.

Monumental Sports & Entertainment is engaged in active conversations with Capital One about renaming Verizon Center, and a person familiar with the deal suggested that an announcement could come by next week. The existing naming rights deal with Verizon, which predated Ted Leonsis’s ownership of the downtown arena, was set to expire in 2018, and Leonsis had been vocal about his desire to land a more team-friendly arrangement.

Capital One’s interest, the source suggested, would link two local companies that both have business and philanthropic ties to the D.C. region. The bank — which is building a new headquarters in Tysons Corner and has spent heavily on sports advertising in recent years — was drawn to the global reach of the D.C. market, according to the person familiar with the deal. Capital One has already been a major corporate sponsor of both the Capitals and the Wizards.

The important thing here is this means we are going to have to come up with a new building nickname. Maybe we can ask Samuel L. Jackson and Jennifer Garner for help.