by Sarah J.F. Braley | August 19, 2016

Events DC, the convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, has selected Washington, D.C.-based construction management joint venture to build the city's new Entertainment and Sports Arena in the Congress Heights. The joint venture companies are Smoot Construction Co. and Gilbane Building Co.

"We're excited to bring the locally based construction management joint venture of Smoot|Gilbane onboard as part of the team for the Entertainment and Sports Arena project. We remain committed to utilizing the best and brightest while supporting our homegrown businesses," said Gregory A. O'Dell, president and CEO of Events DC. "We continue to stand behind our commitment to honoring opportunities for local businesses and District residents and building a state-of-the-art facility that will bring so many economic and civic benefits to our DC community."

Events DC and Smoot|Gilbane is expected to hold a series of workshops and job fairs for businesses and residents who want to work on the ESA project. 

"We are honored to be selected by Events DC, and we are excited to partner with Gilbane Building Co. to construct DC's exciting new Entertainment and Sports Arena," said Mark S. Cain, president and CEO of Smoot. "We look forward to bringing our experience to building a fan-favorite sports and entertainment facility in Ward 8."

The proposed 4,200-seat arena will be a practice facility for the Washington Wizards, home court of the Washington Mystics and a premier entertainment venue. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2017; the arena will open in fall 2018.

"The new Entertainment and Sports Arena project gives our team the chance to bring our best practices in NBA facility construction and our experience building on the St. Elizabeths Campus to benefit both the District and the Congress Heights community," said Drew Mucci, senior vice president of Gilbane. "We are so excited to be part of the transformation of St. Elizabeths East -- it's a once-in-a-generation opportunity."

Smoot and Gilbane have been partners for more than 50 years; the two companies constructed the University of Maryland's 17,950-seat Comcast Arena, among other projects.