Blog Entry

Islanders could have a winner in arena proposal

Posted on: May 11, 2011 2:37 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 2:53 am
It may not be as imminent as the situations in Phoenix or Atlanta, but the New York Islanders’ tenure at the aged Nassau County Coliseum is untenable.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said as much in a release today that was circulated before a news conference that announced plans to put a new arena next to the current 39-year-old relic with $350 million in funds from county-backed bonds. Voters will go to the polls Aug 1 and a simple majority is all that would be needed to finally give the Islanders a new pad.

“Without a new arena, we will lose the Islanders, shutter the aging Coliseum and besides losing present jobs, will lose the currently substantial economic benefits including all the existing arena and secondary jobs,” Mangano said.  “The construction of a new home for the Islanders and the redevelopment of the Coliseum site will generate thousands of construction and secondary construction jobs plus thousands of permanent jobs.”

The overall bond would be for $400 million with $50 million going to a new minor league ballpark. Former Islanders executive and founder of the Islanders Point Blank blog Chris Botta wrote in a special column for ESPN New York that this referendum should gain approval, unless both the Islanders and area politicians “really whiff on this empty-netter.”

Since we’re talking about the Islanders AND politicians, maybe Isles fans shouldn’t get their hopes up. Botta, however, said the date this referendum will be voted on shouldn’t go unnoticed:  
The key here is Aug. 1. Think about it. The vote is not going to be on Election Day, when tens of thousands of Nassau residents would be in position for a knee-jerk rejection of a $400 million expense by a bankrupt county. (The fact is, county taxes are not expected to go up if Wang gets the dough for his building on the Coliseum property. The bond will be covered by eventual revenue from the new facility).

The Aug. 1 date, mandated by Mangano, naturally irks the opposition. Aug. 1 is a Monday in the summer. Think about the people who will be inspired to vote Yes or No, to make the effort to drive to the polling stations to take a stand on one issue on a Monday during a Long Island summer.

But it may not be that easy. Brian Gallof of reports the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority -- the state-appointed agency that oversees the county's finances --  isn't all too happy with the proposal. 

NIFA is deeply concerned about the County Executive’s proposal and its fiscal implications for the County. There was no consultation with NIFA regarding this major proposal announced today. During the control period, greater coordination is warranted.NIFA’s approval is required for all County borrowing, including the $400 million in new debt proposed today, and for all major contracts.

Minus this failed attempt, the Islanders are likely headed out of town once the lease at the coliseum expires in 2015.

The Lighthouse Project, the brainchild of Islanders owner Charles Wang and county leaders, was all but doomed from the start. The proposed multi-billion dollar project included not only a new arena and a minor league park, but also residential neighborhoods and a five-star hotel. 

Independent Islanders blog Lighthouse Hockey theorizes why the new proposal could actually succeed. 
Well, I mean, it might not. But in short, it has a better shot because the major political players involved are on board, and it's not a $3 billion-plus proposal that scares the daylights out of NIMBY suburbanites. Presumably these now united political forces can marshal their supporters and "friends of influence" to get it through.
Town of Hempstead supervisor Kate Murray -- a major player in blocking the LHP -- is on board with this plan and was a featured speaker at today's presser. (Yes, she was booed.)

  Of course, just because Wang, Mangano and Murray are all singing the same tune, there are still the hurdles mentioned above -- county legislature, voter referendum and, presumably, NIFA.

-- A.J .Perez
Category: NHL
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 2:56 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2011 12:27 pm

Islanders could have a winner in arena proposal

Farmer Ted... are you really holding on to something that happened over 30 years ago?

Thats cute... and pathetic.

Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: May 12, 2011 6:00 pm

Islanders could have a winner in arena proposal

I am a Rangers fan, but, from the Island and would hate to see the Islanders leave LI.  They desperately need a new arena and their fans deserve one.  The Nassau Collesium was outdated 20 years ago!! 


Since: Aug 27, 2010
Posted on: May 12, 2011 12:18 pm

Islanders could have a winner in arena proposal

Nassau is only 39 years old? Isn't that about the time the Islanders last won anything? So what good is a new arena going to do?

Since: Apr 21, 2009
Posted on: May 12, 2011 9:37 am

Islanders could have a winner in arena proposal

move them to Canada.

Since: May 11, 2011
Posted on: May 11, 2011 9:17 pm

Islanders could have a winner in arena proposal

What are you talking about brother?

Since: Jan 29, 2009
Posted on: May 11, 2011 8:55 pm

Islanders could have a winner in arena proposal

Your cousin must be so proud to have a cousin like you. Maybe you have had a head injury in the past so I don't want to come down on you too hard,but your cousin has is wages frozen and to blame the Counties mess on the civil servants is just plain crazy. In fact the NCPD has given the County numerous deferments and while every Hockey fan wants the Islanders to stay ,I rather have a great,college groomed Police officer who would give his life to protect the citizens of Nassau County than some Euro Player who can't score worth a damn and watch the Isles miss the playoffs for the umteenth time. When the gangs,drug dealers take over the streets because the NCPD is just trimming it's once proud dept down to the year 1976 then I hope you can go to the Coliseum without getting mugged.

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: May 11, 2011 7:18 pm

Islanders could have a winner in arena proposal

Devils 3 in the last 16

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: May 11, 2011 7:12 pm

My cousin is a Nassau County Cop

He doesn't know what the problem is.  He made 145k last year.  His wife is a teacher.   They are going to vote FOR this.  Why can't everyone else just get on board? Sarcasm off.   ............I am not for taxpayer's paying for Arena's but the fact of the matter is-- its the overpaid civil servants who have bankrupted the county.  Not to mention the fact that the SUCCESSFUL, responsible people always get hosed. Why? They own property.  They pay taxes on that property.  Sign up for SECTION 8 EVERYONE!!!!

Since: Sep 15, 2008
Posted on: May 11, 2011 5:07 pm
This comment has been removed.

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