- The Washington Times - Friday, November 27, 2009

A private funeral service will be held Friday in Washington for Wizards basketball team owner Abe Pollin.

Mr. Pollin died Tuesday. He was 85.

The service will be at 11:30 a.m. at the Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb Street, in the Northwest section of the city. Police will close surrounding streets for the service.

A public service will be held Dec. 8 inside the Verizon Center, the city’s biggest sports-entertainment arena, which Mr. Pollin built. Wizards officials have not announced a time but said the event will be in the evening.

Mr. Pollin, also chairman of Washington Sports & Entertainment, was among the region’s leading philanthropists.

His family has asked that in lieu of flower donations be sent to Abes Table, which helps feed the city homeless.

“Abes Table was one of Abe Pollins favorite projects,” the Wizards organization said.

Mr. Pollin had been confined to a wheelchair in recent years because of progressive supranuclear palsy, a rare brain disorder that impairs movement and balance. He also underwent heart bypass surgery in 2005 and suffered a broken pelvis in 2007.

Over his years in the District, Mr. Pollin won a National Basketball Association championship, took the city’s hockey team to its only Stanley Cup final, built two arenas, helped revitalize part of downtown, hired and fired the world’s most famous basketball player and performed innumerable acts of charity.

He opened Capital Centre in Landover in 1973 and then MCI Center, now the Verizon Center, in downtown Washington in 1997. The Wizards, Capitals, Washington Mystics of the WNBA and the Georgetown University men’s basketball team all play at Verizon.

An architect by trade, Mr. Pollin said he wished to revitalize the downtown area of his adopted city with the construction of his new arena.

• Joseph Weber can be reached at jweber@washingtontimes.com.old.

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