Electronic Signs Could Be Coming to Verizon Center

Leonsis to testify before Council

Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012  |  Updated 9:48 PM EDT
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The debate is on over whether to grant the Verizon Center an exemption from city code and allow signs on the outside of the building to be updated. Tom Sherwood reports

Tom Sherwood

The debate is on over whether to grant the Verizon Center an exemption from city code and allow signs on the outside of the building to be updated. Tom Sherwood reports

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The D.C. Council is considering a new proposal that would allow the Verizon Center to add more electronic billboards.

Owner Ted Leonsis, who has been pushing the council for months to allow the venue to update and add new signs to the building, was expected to testify before the council, News4's Tom Sherwood reported.

But some community members have complained that the signs would be disruptive.

The bill would allow Leonsis to start the process of adding as many as nine new signs to the building.

Leonsis would add a wrap-around sign at the corner of Seventh and F Streets, along with new signs at the entrance to Metro.

He says that the signs will emit less light, and that they'll help generate much-needed revenue.

Leonsis posted the following on his blog:

"... We are forced to continually identify new sources of revenue to help support our NBA and NHL teams (both of which lose money each year) and the arena. One of those new sources of revenue is placing digital signs on the exterior of Verizon Center."

 He also stated that he's worked with community groups to alleviate their concerns:

"We have worked to ensure that the signs will have little or no impact on residences in the neighborhood, have agreed to eliminate sound from the signs (our current signs actually have sound incorporated into them), have proposed the formation of a neighborhood advisory group to address any concerns about the signs and have promised to make the signs available to community groups to promote their events. We also would make the signs available to the city for emergency notifications."

Click here to read more from his blog post on the issue.

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