Capitals, NHL raising money to save Fort Dupont Ice Arena in District

February 3, 2019 GMT

The only public indoor ice rink in Washington, D.C. is in jeopardy of losing funds needed for renovations, and now Ted Leonsis, the Washington Capitals and the NHL are raising money to save it.

Monumental Sports and Entertainment launched a GoFundMe campaign to help Fort Dupont Ice Arena on Sunday and announced that Monumental, team owner Ted Leonsis and the National Hockey League will each donate $100,000 to the cause.

The GoFundMe hopes to raise an additional $200,000 to reach a final goal of $500,000.

For five years, Fort Duponthas had a plan with the Department of General Services to build a facility with two rinks. Last week, Mayor Muriel Bowser sent a reprogramming request to the D.C. Council that would divert $21 million from the Fort Dupont project into addressing problems in D.C. Public Schools.

Bowser’s request drew criticism from many corners, including from Leonsis in this tweet:

Ft. Dupont is a community treasure and a critical facility for young skaters. We hope funding can be restored for this rink that offers free figure skating, hockey and skating lessons and is the only public indoor ice arena in Washington. #FTDUPONT Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) February 1, 2019

Fort Dupont is in Ward 7 in Southeast Washington and serves a primarily minority community. Its founder, Neal Henderson, wanted to teach both hockey and life lessons to kids in the inner city. Henderson was a finalist for the NHL’s first-ever Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award last year.