Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The MCI Center is a sports and entertainment arena in Washington, DC, named after telecommunications sponsor MCI (whose stylized logo continues to grace it). It opened on December 2, 1997 in downtown Washington, in Chinatown. Some complained that the building's construction, by closing off a block of G St, corrupted the historic L'Enfant layout of the Washington city streets. However, the MCI Center not only became a popular venue for sports and concerts, but helped to revitalize the "Gallery Place/Chinatown" neighborhood into becoming one of the prime sites for commercial development in Washington.
The MCI Center is the home arena of the NBA Washington Wizards, the NHL Washington Capitals, and the Georgetown University basketball team, the Hoyas. It seats 20,000, and is also a major venue for over 200 concerts and other events each year.
The arena is owned by Washington Sports & Entertainment (which owns the Wizards and the Capitals), but on land leased from the city of Washington. At the end of the 30 year lease, the land is set to revert back to the ownership of the city, with the mayor of Washington to make mandatory biennial reviews of the city's continuing need for the arena.
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