With a deal for a new $2 billion arena in Virginia stalled, Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis finds himself in a predicament: He may have to go back to the negotiating table with D.C., whose offer of $500 million for renovations to an existing arena he already spurned — or find another potential suitor.

Does that mean Maryland could become an option for the sports and entertainment district he envisions?

It’s not likely. But a source with direct knowledge of the situation told The Baltimore Banner that Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and Leonsis discussed the idea of bringing the NBA and NHL teams to Maryland after Virginia lawmakers left out plans for a new Wizards and Capitals arena from the state budget this month.

The source requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Representatives for Moore declined to comment.

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Leonsis remains focused on working with Virginia to build at the Potomac Yard site in Alexandria for the time being, the source said. However, exploration of a Maryland arena could offer some leverage for Leonsis in negotiations with Virginia and D.C., if nothing else.

Leonsis and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, released plans in December for a $2 billion, 12-acre mixed-use complex that would house the Wizards and Capitals. The deal, which Youngkin said was “an agreement — a very formal handshake and understanding,” was later nixed by key Virginia lawmakers when it failed as state Senate and House of Delegates bills and was not included in the budget.

Leonsis has sought to move the teams out of downtown D.C., where the Capitals and Wizards play at Capital One Arena. The arena, which opened in 1997, could still undergo refurbishment. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser announced a late push to keep the teams in the district in December with a deal that included $500 million in public funds.

Maryland has shown its support for subsidizing sports facilities, both under Moore’s leadership and during previous regimes. A combined $1.2 billion in bonds paid for by the state lottery are available for stadium upgrades at M&T Bank Stadium and Camden Yards through a 2022 bill supported by then-Gov. Larry Hogan. As part of the lease agreement to keep the Orioles at Camden Yards, the state and team will work together on a development rights plan to be approved before the end of 2027.

Plus, the state is in the process of taking over Pimlico Race Course, which would allow for modernization of the racetrack so it can serve as the day-to-day home of thoroughbred racing in the state. The legislature is considering a bill to allocate $400 million for that project, which includes the construction of a training facility elsewhere.

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One of Moore’s key agenda items involves keeping the Washington Commanders in the state. The NFL team is investing $75 million into its aging stadium in Landover, Maryland — until recently known as FedEx Field — through the new ownership group that took over last year. But that same group has said it plans to build a new stadium, and says it has identified possible sites in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. — setting up a potential bidding war.

Maryland has committed $400 million worth of bonds for development projects around Commanders Field in an area known as the Blue Line Corridor, but has not backed money for a stadium itself.

No incentive package or deal has been put on the table in Maryland to lure the Capitals and Wizards to the state. Maryland’s state lawmakers have less than three weeks left in the legislative session, and there’s little wiggle room for new spending in a tight budget that’s being negotiated.

Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson said Tuesday that he had not been approached about locating a Capitals and Wizards arena in the state, but said he’d be open to discussions if an opportunity arose.

”If there’s an opportunity to enhance economic development and something that doesn’t cost the taxpayers in a way that is unreasonable, and find a way for additional investment — certainly we should be open to it,” Ferguson, a Baltimore Democrat, said Tuesday.

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”I want to be realistic about it,” he continued. “It’s hard to imagine both the deal existing in D.C. and the proposed deal in Virginia both collapsing. But if there’s an opportunity, we should explore the opportunity.”

Ferguson noted any attempt to lure the Capitals and Wizards could factor into the existing efforts to keep the Washington Commanders NFL team in Prince George’s County.

House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones, a Baltimore County Democrat, also has not been contacted about moving the teams to Maryland, according to her office.

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