Mongtomery County, MD officials have made it known that they are interested in exploring a private/public partnership on a new arena in Silver Spring.
A few details about the venue have been made public. It would seat 5,000 spectators and be designed to host several types of events, including professional sports. The proposed site is on county-owned land adjacent to the Silver Spring transit center, which would give the venue very convenient Metro line access.
Right now it is still very early in the process. Montgomery County has just issued a request for development proposal (RFDP), asking developers to their bids for the project. More from Bethesda Magazine:
“It’s a marketing dream with the Red Line and Purple Line right there. The convergence is incredible,” said Tina Benjamin, a special projects director for the county.
The project would likely end up as a public-private partnership, she said. The cost was still to be determined. “That’s why we’re putting this out,” Benjamin said, “to ascertain the private sector’s interest in doing this.”
The site should be able to house high school, collegiate, and professional sporting events, as well as graduations, and children’s shows and concerts, [county executive Ike] Leggett said in the release. According to the request for proposals, site plans should include exhibition and convention center spaces, assembly halls and auditoriums, a live entertainment venue for music, comedy, children and family shows, musicals, dance performances and private conference/dining rooms.
The arena would be managed by a sports facility management company with “expertise in the mid-size arena marketplace,” according to the RFDP. The document also said a semi-professional hockey organization would be the preferred anchor tenant, although the arena could serve as the home for one or more minor league sports teams.
“Being creative about entertainment is a good thing about Montgomery County,” County Council member Nancy Floreen said about the proposed arena.
As noted, the proposal is still in its early stages, so it will take time before something comes to fruition. Officials told Bethesda Magazine that, if it moves forward, the arena is likely to open in the early 2020s.