Is Ten Years Old?

The owner of the Washington Wizards is asking the District of Columbia for $50 million to renovate Verizon Center, 10 years after the arena’s opening.

Abe Pollin built the $220 million facility with his own money, and is apparently looking to upgrade the venue’s 110 luxury suites and scoreboard.

Pollin’s company has argued that the 20,500-seat venue has been a catalyst for revitalization in D.C.’s Chinatown, the Washington Post reported, and should be rewarded for that role.

The company has also argued that improvements will attract special events like championship basketball and hockey games, the paper said.

Council Chairman Vincent Gray told the Post the council must evaluate what renovations on the luxury suites would do for the general public, considering the funding would likely come from a tax increase on tickets.

"Abe Pollin feels that he helped the city through tough times. I don’t think anyone would deny that," Gray said. "But I think there has to be a strong case for what the District taxpayers are going to get out of this."

With the renovations, Pollin’s company could reportedly raise the leases on the Verizon Center’s luxury suites from $100,000 annually to $450,000 annually.

Matt Williams, a spokesman for Washington Sports, told the Post that although discussions were in preliminary stages, upgrades are necessary.

"We need to remain state of the art to continue to attract great events," he said.