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Waste of the Day: Virginia Taxpayers Likely to Spend $1.4 Billion on New Stadium

Virginia taxpayers could spend $1.4 billion on a new stadium, though its teams have a perfectly good arena in Washington, D.C.

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Virginia quarter reverse

Topline: The Washington Wizards and Capitals have agreed to move to a new arena in Alexandria, Virginia, which would cost taxpayers an estimated $1.4 billion — even though the teams’ current arena in Washington D.C. just received $70 million in privately-funded upgrades.

Key facts: The proposed new stadium for the basketball and hockey teams would cost $2.2 billion, with $819 million coming from private sources. The City of Alexandria would spend $106 million and the Commonwealth of Virginia would cover the remaining $1.3 billion, according to a study obtained by the Washington Post.

Waste of the Day: Virginia Taxpayers Likely to Spend $1.4 Billion on New Stadium
Waste of the Day 2.28.24 by Open the Books

Officials say most of the funding would come from bonds repaid with revenue generated by the arena itself, with taxpayers only liable for $300 million in direct costs. Still, if more private funding were secured, the extra revenue would be available to use for key government services instead of going back into the arena.

The agreement is nonbinding and still needs approval from state and local legislatures.

For that reason, Washington D.C. is still trying to keep the teams where they are. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser said the city would be willing to spend $500 million to renovate the teams’ current home of Capital One Arena, just short of the $600 million the teams originally asked for before looking for a new location.

That’s after the teams’ owner spent $70 million of his own money on stadium upgrades just a couple of years ago


Capital One Arena was privately funded when it opened in 1997, but taxpayers spent $79 million for land purchases and construction around the site. That’s $150.3 million in 2024 dollars

Background: The Commonwealth of Virginia paid roughly $75 billion to outside vendors last year, with only five individual transactions — for core services like employee health insurance — totaling more than the $1.3 billion it will take to build a new arena, according to

The City of Alexandria paid just $262.3 million to outside vendors and spent $206.4 million on its entire payroll in 2022. The city’s largest purchase that year was a $24 million contract with the Institute for Defense Analyses

It’s not chump change to the state or the city to spend $1.3 billion and $106 million, respectively, to subsidize a stadium.

Supporting quote: “We are not requiring a great deal of upfront investment, and we are not taking money away from the types of funds that fund public safety, the types of funds that fund education,” Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson told Fox News. “In fact, it’s quite the opposite, we are generating money that we’re going to be able to use to invest in those kinds of very important roles of government.”


Critical quote: “Anyone who thinks I am going to approve an arena in Northern Virginia using state tax dollars before we deliver on toll relief and for public schools in Hampton Roads must think I have dumb*** written on my forehead,” State Senator L. Louise Lucas said on social media.

Summary: Taxpayer-funded stadiums have been a common issue across the country during the last few years. What isn’t common is for two cities to compete to see who can burn more money on a single building.

The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at

This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.

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Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-eff-ski) is the CEO/founder of Before dedicating his life to public service, Adam co-founded HomePages Directories, a $20 million publishing company (1997-2007). His works have been featured on the BBC, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, C-SPAN, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, FOX News, CNN, National Public Radio (NPR), Forbes, Newsweek, and many other national media.

Today, is the largest private repository of U.S. public-sector spending. Mission: post "every dime, online, in real time." In 2022, captured nearly all public expenditures in the country, including nearly all disclosed federal government spending; 50 of 50 state checkbooks; and 25 million public employee salary and pension records from 50,000 public bodies across America.

The group's aggressive transparency and forensic auditing of government spending has led to the assembly of grand juries, indictments, and successful prosecutions; congressional briefings, hearings, and subpoenas; Government Accountability Office (GAO) audits; Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports; federal legislation; and much more.

Our Honorary Chairman - In Memoriam is U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, MD.

Andrzejewski's federal oversight work was included in the President's Budget To Congress FY2021. The budget cited his organization by name, bullet-pointed their findings, and footnoted/hyperlinked to their report.

Posted on YouTube, Andrzejewski's presentation, The Depth of the Swamp, at the Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar 2020 in Naples, Florida received 3.8 million views.

Andrzejewski has spoken at the Columbia School of Journalism, Harvard Law School and the law schools at Georgetown and George Washington regarding big data journalism. As a senior policy contributor at Forbes, Adam had nearly 20 million pageviews on 206 published investigations. In 2022, investigative fact-finding on Dr. Fauci's finances led to his cancellation at Forbes.

In 2022, Andrzejewski did 473 live television and radio interviews across broadcast, major cable platforms, and radio shows. Andrzejewski is the author of The Waste of the Day column at Real Clear Policy. The column is syndicated by Sinclair Broadcast Group, owners of nearly 200 ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX affiliates across USA.

Andrzejewski lives in Hinsdale, Illinois with his wife Kerry and three daughters. He is a lector at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church and has finished the Chicago Marathon eight times (PR 3:58.49 in 2022).


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