- Richard Smith
Entertainment and Sports Arena – Washington Mystics
Photos by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.29
Entertainment and Sports Arena St. Elizabeth’s East Campus 1100 Oak Drive SE Washington, DC 20032
Entertainment and Sports Arena website
Year Opened: 2018
A Mystical Night in Washington
The Washington Mystics have played in the WNBA since the league’s second season. The team is owned by Monumental Sports & Entertainment (led by Ted Leonsis), which also owns the NBA Wizards and the Washington Capitals of the NHL.
Starting with the 2019 season the Mystics moved to the Entertainment & Sports Arena in the Congress Heights neighborhood of DC. That year they also won their first WNBA championship.
The 4,200-seat Entertainment & Sports Arena sits on the former ground of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. There is a move to develop even more of the former hospital and area which should help improve the Congress Heights neighborhood.
The complex also includes practice facilities for the Wizards and Mystics and also plays home to the Capital City Go-Go of the NBA G-League (also owned by Monumental Sports & Entertainment).
Food & Beverage 4
There is a good standard selection of food, along with some local items such as crab cake sandwiches. Soda is all Pepsi products and a variety of beer is also available. Prices are relatively high.
The Entertainment & Sports Arena features chair-back seating on four sides of the floor, with one side being quite small. There are two video boards, but no center-hanging scoreboard.
The team mascot is a panda named Pax. The panda was chosen because of the famous pandas at the National Zoo here in DC.
Being a pretty small arena makes the place seem smaller than it is, and crowd noise enhances the atmosphere.
The Congress Heights neighborhood is currently not one of the greatest areas of the city. The normal fan will not likely want to venture far off the beaten path in this area. The good news is that the area is developing and changes are occurring.
n even greater news you are in the Washington, D.C. area with many things to do. The number of attractions, museums, restaurants, and other sights is astounding. Spend some time pre or post-game seeing the many things around this great city. The new African American History museum just opened recently as well as the National Portrait Gallery, which is located across the street from the arena, are great choices.
The Mystics have been around long enough that they have a good fanbase. The team has also been successful and features players that fit well with the team's fans. The smaller arena has been good for the team and makes attending a Mystics game very much a festival-type experience.
The Entertainment & Sports Arena is located just off the Malcolm X Avenue exit off Highway 295. It is then a short drive to the arena area. You can also get to the arena by way of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and to the direct north.
There is paid parking in several lots in the area, as well as a brand-new garage behind the arena. Security and police are ever present to keep fans safe.
The Congress Heights Station of the Washington Metro is located a few yards away from the area and makes for an additional way to access the venue. The team goes out of its way to encourage public transportation.
Return on Investment 3
The prices are fairly decent for the high caliber of play. The cheapest options, the upper deck, are not very far away from the option with it being a small arena.
There is a souvenir stand that sells merchandise. There will always be a selection of merchandise that is special to the game you attend and is offered at a lower price.
Pax the Panda is a great mascot that is pretty unique to sports arenas.
There will likely be some vendors giving away swag in the concourse.
The Entertainment & Sports Arena is a unique urban arena that seems like it is assisting and transforming an entire section of the city. The Mystics games are a fun way to experience this transformation.