Monumental Sports & Entertainment Acquires AFL Team
Monumental Sports & Entertainment Acquires AFL Team
Official AFL Welcome Event March 16 at Verizon Center, Streamed Live on New Monumental Sports Network
Relaunched Digital Platform to Offer Extended Content on Mobile and OTT Streaming Devices, New Design and Improved Fan Experience
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) today announced the acquisition of an Arena Football League (AFL) team, which will play at Verizon Center starting in spring 2017. The as-yet unnamed Washington AFL team joins eight other teams in the AFL.
“We’re extremely excited to acquire an AFL team for Washington, adding Arena Football to the mix of the best sports teams in town,” said Monumental Sports & Entertainment founder and majority owner Ted Leonsis. “D.C. is a ‘Super City’ with a fan base that spans across the DMV region, and being able to provide another family-centric sports option to our community is an important endeavor.”
Monumental Sports & Entertainment also owns the NBA’s Washington Wizards, NHL’s Washington Capitals and WNBA’s Washington Mystics.
A news conference to formally announce the AFL team acquisition will take place Wednesday, March 16 at 11:30 a.m. at Verizon Center. Leonsis, AFL commissioner Scott Butera and AFL league officials, team ownership and alumni will be in attendance.
“Monumental Sports & Entertainment, led by majority owner, Chairman and CEO Ted Leonsis, is an ideal partner for the Arena Football League,” said commissioner Scott C. Butera who led the League’s effort to land its newest team. “The group combines high-quality sports team operations with world-class facilities management to produce exceptional entertainment. In addition to their success in one of the nation’s largest markets, they also are proven leaders in sports marketing and entertainment technology. I am quite confident that the AFL will benefit greatly from their involvement.”
“Arena Football is such an exciting sport to be bringing to the D.C. area,” said Roger Mody, a member of the Monumental Sports & Entertainment ownership group and managing partner for the AFL team. “The new team will provide another great entertainment option for fans at Verizon Center starting next year. We’re thrilled to become a part of the league and to bring another member into the MSE fold.”
The Arena Football League was founded in 1987 and will be entering its 29th season in 2016 with 20 million fans across the United States. The AFL will now consist of nine teams starting in 2017 spread between two conferences: the American Conference and the National Conference. Each team plays 16 games with two bye weeks during the April-to-August season.
The AFL news conference, and future games for the as-yet unnamed Washington AFL team, will be streamed live on Monumental Sports Network. Previously known as Monumental Network, the digital platform owned by MSE, Monumental Sports Network will relaunch Monday, March 14 with a new URL, extending its content offerings across desktop, tablet, mobile and other OTT streaming devices. Monumental Sports Network will then deliver content to mobile apps and streaming devices on Android, iOS, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire and Roku. To power its sites and apps, the Network chose ViewLift, an end-to-end content distribution platform for sports leagues and teams, media companies and learning providers. With ViewLift, Monumental Sports Network continues to provide exclusive and original sports content in the D.C. metropolitan area with an enhanced live and on-demand video player, articles, photo galleries, downloadable calendars and customizable features to enhance the fan experience. The platform features a common look and feel across the web, mobile and OTT devices for content on-the-go. The Network is comprised of more than 20 websites, blogs and affiliate sites.
Monumental Sports Network will debut its extended content, new look and features at next week’s South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, on March 14. In a partnership with the WeDC House, Monumental Sports Network will spotlight D.C. as a city of tech, sports, art, music and film.
“Monumental Sports Network’s new digital platform is a reflection of our region’s evolving preferences for consuming video and sports media on-the-go,” said Monumental Sports Network vice president and general manager Zach Leonsis. “It is critical for us to be able to reach our fans on any device, anytime and anywhere. By expanding our reach to mobile and OTT streaming devices, our fans’ experience is enhanced, increasing user engagement with our exclusive and original content programming.”
The relaunch of Monumental Sports Network also utilizes a tag line to embrace both the customizable features of the Network as well as the ability to access content across multiple platforms: “Your sports. Wherever. Whenever.”
Fans can also earn Monumental Rewards points through the customizable platform. Monumental Rewards offers all fans the opportunity to earn and redeem points for access to unique and unforgettable experiences for the Capitals, Mystics, Wizards and Verizon Center.
Monumental Sports Network includes various digital properties and blogs that are associated with Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s four professional sports teams and venues.
Original programming and existing content featured on Monumental Sports Network includes Emmy Award-winning shows Caps Red Line (CRL) and Wizards Magazine as well as Mystics Magazine. Featured shows syndicated on the network include: Caps Report, Caps Snapshots, Coach’s Corner, Courtside Report, DC Tonight, Fashion Friday, Fast Break, Inside Fantasy Football, Junior Reporters, Monumental International, Mystics Minute, Off the Bench, Rinkside Update, Two-Man Advantage and Out of Bounds. Capitals and Wizards pregame and postgame coverage is also provided on the sports network.
Monumental Sports Network also features the following blogs and affiliate sites: Capitals Today, Capitals Voice, Daily Wizdom, D.C. Hot Read, Dump ‘n Chase, Mystics Today, Red Rockers, Scarlet Caps, Ted’s Take, Wizard Girls, Washington Wizards Blog, Wizards Today, PressBox Online, PressBox DC, Glenn Clark Radio and On Tap Online.
The Network became the first platform to stream Washington Mystics games live and continues to stream live events including the recent East Coast Conference basketball tournament held at the University of the District of Columbia. Regularly streamed live events include the Capitals and Wizards media days, Capitals and Wizards trade deadline shows, press conferences and more.
Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paces and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. The ESPN family of networks and CBS Sports Network nationally broadcast AFL games each week, culminating with the ArenaBowl on ESPN.
About Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Monumental Sports & Entertainment, located in Washington, D.C., is one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports. MSE owns and operates four professional sports teams: the NBA’s Washington Wizards, NHL’s Washington Capitals, WNBA’s Washington Mystics and an as yet unnamed AFL team to debut in 2017. The group also owns and operates Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., which is annually ranked as one of the top venues in the world by industry publications Billboard, Pollstar and Venues Today. Monumental Sports & Entertainment also manages Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the state-of-the-art training facility for the Capitals and EagleBank Arena on George Mason University’s campus. A new practice facility, projected to debut in 2018 for the Washington Wizards, will also be managed by MSE with a 5,000-seat arena attached to it as the new home court for the Washington Mystics. Both facilities will be built in a joint venture with Events DC and the District of Columbia on the St. Elizabeths site in Ward 8 with the Mystics serving as the lead tenant in the new 5,000-seat arena operated by Events DC. Monumental Sports & Entertainment also owns and operates Monumental Sports Network, a digital platform that covers the region’s sports and entertainment news. Relaunching in 2016, the digital platform will extend its coverage capabilities to mobile and OTT streaming devices on Android, iOS, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire and Roku. Visit www.monumentalsports.com for more information.