Leonsis: Flat screens on arena mean cash

Council hearing on permit help

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“It’s like having a big TV screen across the street,” she told the committee.

Other witnesses said they think Monumental is getting preferential treatment through legislation that exclusively addresses its business needs, although Ms. Alexander later noted the bill could set precedent for other sports venues, such as Nationals Park in Southeast.

Monumental officials said the new screens would be dimmer than the GEICO video screen that already juts out from the building.

“It’s not like someone is flashing a strobe light,” said Randall Boe, executive vice president for Monumental, as he flipped through slides in a video presentation for the committee.

The screens would shut off at midnight and not emit sound, qualities that assuaged some local business owners’ concerns. An advisory committee has been established to vet any of the community’s ongoing concerns.

Monumental officials said they would like to have screens up by the fall sports season but would comply with the city’s timetable.

Council member Jack Evans, Ward 2 Democrat, said the arena has been a “huge boon for the city” but digital signs have “always been controversial.”

“No one will always be satisfied,” Mr. Evans said. “No one will always get what they want.”

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