Washington, DC’s, soaring crime rate pushed the Wizards and Capitals to relocate the professional basketball and hockey teams out of the nation’s capital, surrounding District residents say, potentially costing the District $25 million in yearly tax revenue.
The Metropolitan Police Department’s 2023 statistics show:
-Robbery increased by 69 percent
-Violent crime spiked by 40 percent
-Carjackings soared by 89 percent
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin reached a tentative agreement this week with the parent company of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals to relocate the teams out of the crime-infested “war zone” of D.C. to the Virginia shore of the Potomac, just a ten-minute drive from the District’s border.
“It’s not just about money … but you’ve got to talk about the environment. … What is the surrounding area of the venue?” Virginia Republican Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears told WMAL on Wednesday. “If you go to the game and you’re having fun but if you leave the game you’re having to look over your shoulder, that’s an issue.”
Television commentator Ben Domenech believes the Democrat-controlled government of D.C. is ultimately responsible for the soaring crime and departing sports teams.
“Washington, DC, losing the Washington Capitals and Wizards franchises to Virginia is the ultimate indictment of incompetent Mayor Muriel Bowser and corrupt Democrats on the city council who let crime take over the nation’s capital,” he wrote.
Laura Ingraham, a longtime Washington-area resident and host of The Ingraham Angle, said “crime was part of this decision” for the teams to vacate the District and move to Virginia come 2028.
“I was in D.C. when the [then-]Verizon Center… was built, and I saw how that area of D.C. was totally revitalized… Crime has been a major problem in this city really since before COVID,” she said. “That had to be part of the decision as well — nobody wants to go downtown.”
Crime soared in 2022 after U.S. Attorney for D.C. Matthew Graves refused to prosecute 67 percent of those arrested. In turn, 222 criminal homicides have occurred in 2023, a 35-percent increase from the same period in 2022, according to police statistics. The District eclipsed 200 killings on August 12, 2023, the earliest point it has done so since the late 1990s.
The District currently ranks 180 in safety on a list of 182 American cities, according to a study recently released by WalletHub.
The soaring crime that ravages local taxpayers also impacted five high-profile people in 2023, including Naomi Biden, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), and Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN).
“Washington, DC, is about as close as you will get to an American war zone in the U.S., and it’s only getting worse,” a local resident who lives in Navy Yard told Breitbart News. “That’s hardly hyperbole; I’ve lost all sense of safety and security, and I live in one of the ‘better’ neighborhoods. I guess that’s what you get when you leave governance entirely to Democrats and a few socialists.”