Leonsis close to securing Arena Football League team for D.C.

1 May 2000: Danjuan Magee #42 of the Los Angeles Avengers runs with the ball as Ron Perry #5 of the Oklahoma Wranglers tries to pull him down during the Arena Football game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Wranglers defeated the Avengers 59-33. (Getty Images/Kellie Landis)

WASHINGTON — Football may be coming back to Washington after all.

Ted Leonsis is close to acquiring an Arena League Football team to play at Verizon Center beginning in 2017, Monumental Sports confirmed to WTOP Wednesday afternoon, following an initial report from The Washington Post.

Monumental Sports currently owns the Capitals, Mystics and Wizards, all of which play at the downtown facility.

“We are in talks, it’s definitely public knowledge,” said Tom Goodhines, executive vice president of the AFL.

While negotiations are not yet final, Goodhines did say that Verizon Center fits the mold of the type of venue the league looks for when looking to open new franchises.

“If you look at our pattern of our teams and where we play, that’s the type of place we want to be,” Goodhines said.

Arena League Football often uses the hockey arena footprint for fields, which stretch 50 yards and include 8-yard end zones. A facility like Verizon Center, with a capacity north of 18,000 when configured for hockey, would also give the league a chance to improve upon its average attendance, which ranges from 10,000-12,000 per game.

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