The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

    New event center to be built at Shady Grove Metro

    Montgomery County has asked D&A Sports and Entertainment to design a multipurpose event center to be built in the Shady Grove Metro Station parking lot.

    Developers are currently in the preliminary design phase, which could take up to 15 months since the event center must be approved by the Montgomery County Planning Department. An opening date for the event center has yet to be announced.

    “We need to collaborate with all of our partners including the community, the builder, the engineer, our architect and other interest groups such as surrounding neighbors,” said project co-founder and D&A Sports and Entertainment Principal William Askinazi.

    Montgomery County gave the project to D&A Sports and Entertainment more than six years ago, however it has taken a great deal of time to find a site suitable to accommodate such an event center in Montgomery County.

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    Four additional sites were considered as possible locations for the event center over the last six years including the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Montgomery College Germantown

    Campus and the Rockville City Golf Course. However, those sites proved unsuitable for a 6,500 fixed-seat event center. The Shady Grove location had no such issue and by being on the Metro Red Line it satisfied transportation concerns.

    “The beauty of it is you’re on a Red Line,” Askinazi said. “You can take Metro to it, andhopefully there will be new restaurants and bars and shops right around the event center.”

    Some of the event center’s future uses include family concerts, indoor sports championships, monster truck shows and Disney on Ice, among many more.

    “It’s truly a multipurpose arena,” Askinazi said.

    While the event center will serve many different purposes, it also aims to provide a suitable venue in Montgomery County for hosting high school graduation ceremonies.

    For many CHS seniors, the event center could fix the issue of the current five-person ticket limit per each graduating senior.

    “If the new center allows for more families to attend, then it’ll be a better venue,” senior Michael Gauch said.

    According to Montgomery County Community Planner Nkosi Yearwood, because the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority owns the property where D&A Sports and Entertainment wants to build the event center, they would have to sell or lease the land to the developer, which they have yet to announce.

    Despite having an estimated cost between $40 and $50 million, the event center will be entirely privately funded.

    “No one’s asking for assets here,” Askinazi said. “This is a private investment, and it’s going to be a public amenity with private risk.”

    Montgomery County now has over 1 million residents, and is one of the few counties of its size that lacks its own event center.

    According to Askinazi, the event center has drawn widespread support from the community, including Larry Bowers, the MCPS Chief Operating Officer.

    Bowers cited parking issues and limited seating at DAR as well as the need for a large venue to host indoor sports championships as reasons for his support of the event center.

    “It’s time that this county has this event center, and that’s what it’s intended to do,” Askinazi said.

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    New event center to be built at Shady Grove Metro