#MonumentalDisaster Campaign is a Monumental Victory

On December 13th, Sports Fans Coalition, in partnership with the National Consumers League launched the #MonumentalDisaster campaign to oppose the publicly financed move of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals to Alexandria. Nearly 3,000 sports fans signed our petition telling lawmakers to oppose the deal. Shortly thereafter, we partnered with the Coalition to Stop the Arena (STA) to support a powerful, growing grassroots movement to push back against a billionaire, the local political machine, and the Governor. 

The movement was a resounding success! We were able to convince lawmakers on a number of problems with the proposed move including, the bogus financing, laughable transportation plan, environmental concerns, bad governance, and a number of conflicts of interest regarding foreign investments by Ted Leonsis and Glenn Youngkin. One such lawmaker, Senator Louise Lucas, took up the cause when Alexandria’s lawmakers wouldn’t and prevented the bill from moving through the Senate and kept the bill out of the Commonwealth’s budget

Today, Alexandria Mayor Wilson stated that he was pulling the City of Alexandria out of the negotiations and Governor Glenn Youngkin conceded defeat. Despite what these lawmakers say, this deal did not fall victim to “politics.” In fact, as local advocate Adrien Lopez recently wrote, “the history of how the Potomac Yard arena proposal fell apart will be written. It will not be a story of how rich men from Richmond and Washington failed to grovel effectively enough for the liking of one powerful woman from Portsmouth. The real story will be how champions like Sen. Lucas listened to the vocal residents of Alexandria and Virginians from across the state who stood up and refused to, in Lucas’ words, ‘let billionaires build their fortunes on the backs of our taxpayer dollars.’”

In response to this news, Executive Director Brian Hess issued the following statement:

“What seemed like a quixotic campaign in December has turned into a true underdog story. We commend the spirited grassroots activism of the Coalition to Stop the Arena. They fearlessly took on their City, the Commonwealth, and a billionaire looking to use their taxes for his personal enrichment. We hope that communities around the country look to what happened in Alexandria and take inspiration and push back against the billions of dollars across the country being offered to sports teams. Congratulations to STA, the National Consumers League, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, and Alexandria’s sports fans for achieving a monumental victory.”

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  • Brian Hess
    published this page in Blog 2024-03-27 18:57:44 -0400