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October 24, 2012

The Islanders Will Stay in New York Until 2040

Beginning the 2015-16 the New York Islanders will play at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn New York.  This will keep the historic franchise in the local area and bring an end to the over two decade saga of the Islanders arena issues. Here is to the next two decades plus on New York Islanders hockey.

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August 31, 2012

Bill Daly is Intrigued by Brooklyn

Newsday's recent article on the Islanders and Brooklyn had some positive and less positive news on Brooklyn. Let's start with the less positive, only 7,000 tickets have been sold for the October 2nd at the Barclays Center.  However, like the article has mentioned the Barclays Center hasn't aggressively marketed the game yet.  Another issue that might be effecting ticket sales is the labor disputes that will most likely cancel the game.

Now on to the positive news on Brooklyn, deputy commissioner of the NHL was quoted as saying "a potential move by the Islanders to Atlantic Avenue remains "an intriguing possibility."  This statement is the most positive one the league has made by the league yet. 

August 23, 2012

The Silent Summer

There really hasn't been much new on the arena front for Islander fans.  Nassau is still in the middle of their RFQ process.  One of the developers interested in the site dropped out since he felt not enough time was given for him to present his vision.  The only developer who has publicly  stated he wants the Islanders as part of his development was Monti.  However, the zoning seems to still be an issue and so does financing, but we will find out more on those issues after the RFQ winner is announced.  More importantly we will also find out if Wang would be interested in working with one of these developers.

In the mean time Ratner is still making public pleas for the Islanders to move to Brooklyn.  In all honesty its nice to hear someone say "We're trying like hell to convince the Islanders play in Brooklyn".  It is just nice to be wanted by someone and someplace after the mess the franchise has gone through in Nassau.

Sadly for us Islander fans there still seems to be along way to go before this saga is over. 

P.S. Yes I am still alive.  It has been along and busy summer, but I'm back.

July 15, 2012

Where is Suffolk

We have heard from Nassau, Queens, and Brooklyn in the past several months, but what happen to Suffolk.  Ever since Steve Bellone has become County Executive not a whisper of talks between the two has been heard.  There are two ways this can be interpreted.

1) Suffolk County is too cash strap to offer the Islanders a deal, so the two sides haven't been talking.

2) Suffolk County and Charles Wang are in talks and the two sides are keeping everything under wraps, since Wang wants a media blackout.  The reason why Wang would want a media blackout with any serious negotiation is the belief that he has that the media played a major role in killing the Lighthouse.  So the question is while Nassau Democrats and Republicans are fighting and Brooklyn is talking about the potential of their arena to the public is something really going on behinds the scenes in Suffolk.

At this point of time it still looks like it will be Brooklyn or out of New York for the Islanders, but if there was ever a dark horse in this race it has been Suffolk County.  The question is if their silence speaks volumes or not.

July 7, 2012

Nassau Rehashes an Old Plan

Instead of coming up with a new idea for the the Nassau Hub and saving the Islanders, Nassau County and Ed Mangano rehash an old plan.  They want private development to save the team and developm the land without public money.

From Newsday:

In another attempt to keep the Islanders , Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is seeking a developer to coordinate the construction of a new or renovated arena, along with housing and retail, on the land around Nassau Coliseum .

But team officials did not return calls for comment, and it remains unclear whether they support Mangano's latest plan. Islanders owner Charles Wang has said his team will not stay in the current arena past 2015, when his lease expires, and that he is evaluating other possible locations.

To jump-start the new arena effort, Nassau County is expected Monday to release a Request for Qualifications seeking a "master developer" for the Nassau Hub property. The winning developer would be required to "immediately begin negotiations" with the Islanders and the arena's management, Pennsylvania -based SMG, the RFQ is expected to say.

The goal, Mangano said, is to make up the difference between what Wang is willing to pay as the Coliseum's tenant and the total price tag of a new or renovated arena. The plan does not detail how much Wang would contribute. No county money is involved, Mangano said.

"There's 10 years of data, there's 10 years of public input, there's 10 years of no's," Mangano said in an interview. "Now's the time for us to come together and collectively end the island of no and go forward with the island of yes. That's what the RFQ is intended to do."

If the Islanders leave, the winning developer would have to come up with an alternative.

Islanders senior vice president Michael Picker did not return calls for comment last week.;JSESSIONID=703656FED317F950FDD7.3239?site=newsday&view=top_stories_item&feed%3Aa=newsday_1min&feed%3Ac=topstories&feed%3Ai=1.3825413&nopaging=1

This plan is flawed to begin with, considering we already know that Kate Murray's zoning makes it impossible for a developer to make a profit with an arena in the plans.  Most likely people will put in RFPS so they can have the the land   if or when the Islanders leave.  Since it will become the responsibility of the winning developer to come up with alternatives for the site if the Islanders decide to leave the hub.  Instead of coming up with a new plan Nassau has returned to an already failed one.

June 30, 2012

Things Are Quiet on the Arena Front

As we get deeper into summer and the hockey off season things are completely quiet on the arena front.  For the past several weeks nothing new has come out.  The last we heard Ed Mangano handed in his proposal for the hub, but no details were released of the plan.  There have even been murmurs that an arena will not be included in the plan.  On the Brooklyn front the team spent a lot of time at the draft party promoting the October 2nd game at the Barclays Center and even came out with a shirt for the event..

The longer this issue goes with any news this off season the worse the future of the Islanders in Nassau County looks.  Things look so bad that the head of the labor unions on Long Island threw out the ideas of using the unions pension money to build a new arena.  That is a gigantic risk to take with people's retirement money.  Hopefully something comes out soon on the issue, but for now it seems like Islander fans will be force to wait and see if the new Hub plan might have an arena in it when the economic development council picks winners in September.  This could be a painfully quiet summer 

June 17, 2012

Coyotes New Lease is going to Court?

ESPN is reporting that the new lease that Glendale approved for the Coyotes will be sued by Goldwater Institute.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The conservative watchdog group Goldwater Institute has filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the Glendale City Council's vote to approve a lease agreement for Arena with a potential buyer of the Phoenix Coyotes.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court on behalf of Glendale taxpayers Ken Jones and Joe Cobb, claiming last week's vote violated a 2009 court order requiring Glendale to provide all documents in negotiations between the city and a prospective owner to Goldwater in a timely manner.

We continue to hope that the city will construct a lawful deal that protects the interests of Glendale taxpayers. Without seeing critical exhibits contained in the arena management agreement ... it is not possible to determine the constitutional validity of the agreement.

 The question this arises is if the lease get's hold up in court will the NHL wait for the trail to come to a conclusion, or pickup and move out of the market.  If the Coyotes are forced to relocate that would take one threat away from the Islanders.

June 16, 2012

Hush Hush on Nassau's Hub Redevelopment Plan

Yesterday Nassau County submitted their redevelopment plan for the hub, but would not release the details of it.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano submitted an economic development plan to the state Friday for the Hub area, although it's unclear what the proposal envisions for the aging Nassau Coliseum .

The application, which Deputy County Executive Rob Walker refused to release because of "nondisclosure agreements with certain interested parties," was submitted to the Empire State Development Corp. as a "transformative project."

"It's going to be good," said Walker, who declined to elaborate on the proposal.

Nassau's submission will compete with other projects from across Long Island . The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council will select its top projects to compete with nine other regions for a total of $220 million in capital funds.

An additional $530 million, pooled from 12 state agencies, will be distributed by the state.

Kevin Law, co-vice chairman of the council, said he was anxious to review Nassau's proposal. The panel will make its decision in September.;JSESSIONID=777BA7C2EB19649AFAFD.3239?site=newsday&view=nassau_item&feed:a=newsday_5min&feed:c=nassau&feed:i=1.3785252&nopaging=1

 The fact they won't release the details scares me a little. It makes me think that this could be the first redevelopment plan without an arena in it. I wouldn't think they would make that drastic of a shift yet, but who knows.

June 15, 2012

Brooklyn or Bust

I have been saying for months now that I believe that unless something drastic happen that it is Brooklyn or bust for the Islanders.  Today there were several pieces written expressing that opinion.

Ever since the residents of Nassau County overwhelmingly voted No against another plan to get the Islanders a new arena, the future of the franchise on Long Island has been in doubt.
It has seemed all along that the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn is the only suitable option -- and some would argue that it's not suitable. Despite officials saying the arena could host hockey -- and it will this preseason when the Islanders play a game there -- its seating capacity for hockey would be the lowest in the NHL, even below Winnipeg.
But is that really it? I mean, there's no way that the NHL would let a team leave the New York Metro area, would they? Well if that's your hope than these tweets from B.D. Gallof of WFAN/CBS New York won't give you the warm and fuzzies.
This is not surprising yet it is all at the same time. It's not surprising because all along there haven't appeared to be any real options besides Brooklyn. From a black and white standpoint I thought it was always easy to see that it was Brooklyn or bust.

Its sad to think that the Islanders day in Nassau are nearing an end, but with a 3 billion dollar debt and a zoning too small to be profitable with an arena, there seem to be little choice left for the Islanders. 

June 13, 2012

Announcement of a Mall in Queens

On Thursday there will be an announcement of a mall and hotel to be built in Citi Fields parking lot.

Mayor Bloomberg is set to reveal the details for a 1 million-square-foot mall near Citi Field — a joint venture between Sterling Equities and Related Cos., sources told the Daily News.
Details for the first phase of Willets Point development, which will include a hotel and 30,000 square feet of retail space, will also be announced, sources said.

What does this mean for the Islanders? It means that the possibility of the Islanders building an arena in one of Citi field's parking lots looks bleak.  Back in 2010 there were murmurs of the Islanders and Wilpons talking about an arena in Willets Point.  It seems like Queens and the Wilpons are ready to start developing the area around the Mets and the Islanders don't seem to be involve.

June 11, 2012

NIFA Joking about the Coliseum

While George Marlin was complaining about Ed Mangano's plan to privatize Nassau County's sewer system he took a shot at the Nassau Coliseum.

 “This is a form of back-door borrowing,” he blasted. “Potential financial investors who invest money to public-private partnerships expect annual returns of 10 percent to 15 percent. To suggest that a private operator will achieve enough efficiencies to cover most of that cost and that assessments or user fees will increase no more than the rate of inflation—well, anyone who believes that, I have a coliseum in Hempstead I would like to sell them,” Marlin added

Well Mr. Marlin if you know that the coliseum is a dump and a money loser, why don't you actually become part of the solution instead  of making jokes.  If you and NIFA think things are bad in Nassau now just think how bad they will be with the lost of  revenue from the lost of the Islanders.

Odds are in the Barclays Center Favor

According to a report from Chris Botta, the Barclays Center believes that there is better than a 50% chance that the Islanders will be in Brooklyn come 2015.

 Nets CEO Brett Yormark has not held back from talking big about the #Isles landing in Brooklyn. Sources say Yormark, in recent meetings with clients and prospective partners, has said that the chances of the NYI playing in Brooklyn in 2015 are "better than 50%." To be clear, this does not mean the NYI are definitely moving there. You cannot blame Yormark, a relentless salesman, for his sales pitch. But as of now, Brooklyn stands as the Isles' best (only?) option in the New York area if they leave Nassau.

With Nassau financial crisis I would even consider Brooklyn the Islanders best option when taking Nassau into account.

June 10, 2012

Drop The Puck

Tomorrow I will be on Drop the Puck with Rob Sanderson, which starts at 10am.

Interview was pushed back 

June 4, 2012

Botta on Brooklyn

 Gary Bettman had been against the #Isles in Brooklyn, making his visit to the arena - as reported by Larry Brooks - notable, if only as a symbol of CW's frustrations with Nassau and Hempstead. All the recent Brooklyn talk, including Bruce Ratner's Coliseum cameo late in the season, says something about the NYI's limited options in the metro area. When Newsday, quick to gun down the first Brooklyn reports by this blogger and others 3 years ago, gets on board, the hype will hit overdrive.

June 3, 2012

Bettman Seen at the Barclays Center

Larry Brooks's of the New York Post reported that Gary Bettman was seen at the Barclays Center on Friday.  The fact that Bettman was at the arena could mean many things, but it should be seen as a positive to Islanders fans.  It puts pressure on Nassau when papers are reporting that Bettman is seen or talking to other New York locations.  In addition, it shows that the commissioner is exploring Brooklyn as a safety-net in case an arena can't be built elsewhere in the metropolitan area.  Like Brooks's said in his article.

    The Dodgers could have gone to Queens when they instead skedaddled to Los Angeles. It would be an everlasting shame if the Islanders were to go to Quebec (or Seattle) if they instead could move to Brooklyn.
It’s merely a subway ride, as our moles tell us the NHL commissioner took on Friday.

June 2, 2012

Is Belmont back in the Race for the Islanders?

A few months ago there were rumors about the Islanders staying in Nassau, but moving to Belmont as part of a casino development.  Those plans seemed all but dead when Governor Cuomo proposed his plan for the largest convention center in the country to build just down the road at Aqueduct.  The convention center was going to be built by Genting who in return wanted a class three casino with a 25 mile non compete on the site.  It seems like those plans have fallen through, which opens open the door for a Belmont deal again.  

Plans for a casino at Belmont Park , once considered dead and buried, may have received a breath of new life Friday when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that a proposal to build a convention center at nearby Aqueduct Racetrack has been scrapped.

State officials said plans for the convention center and casino would be shelved until voters decide the fate of legalized gambling in New York , likely by no earlier than fall 2013.

If successful, the state would accept bids for a "casino-convention center complex" somewhere in the New York metro area, although not necessarily at Aqueduct, said Cuomo spokesman Joshua Vlasto.

In the interim, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano urged Cuomo to restart conversations with the Shinnecock Indian Nation for a Belmont casino.

"The Shinnecock Nation needs state and federal authorization to build a casino," Mangano said. "Once achieved, it has the potential to create thousands of jobs, increase tourism, slow dollars going to other states and help subsidize the cost of government so that we can hold the line on property taxes.";JSESSIONID=2A97669B870DA50C27217E82D5A09A07?site=newsday&view=politics_item&feed:a=newsday_1min&feed:c=politics&feed:i=1.3757441&part=1

With or without the Shinnecock Belmont could be the saving grace to keep the Islanders in Nassau County.  Later this month RFPS will be gathered that include retail, residential and a sports arena.  This may be the best chance for the county to keep their only professional team and Wang to get the development he wants in the county he wants.

Next month, the Empire State Development Corporation will release a request for proposals to develop 36 acres of state land at Belmont. Those plans could include retail development and a sports venue, such as a professional soccer stadium, said Sen. Jack Martins (R- Mineola ). 

Although the article does mention such as a soccer stadium, I'm sure that could easily become a hcokey arena, since Nassau has a professional hockey team already. 

(Aqueduct currently has a racino  with only slot machines.  Gentings was in talks with the state to open up a full scale casino with table games.)

May 29, 2012

Botta Reports Isles Are NOT For Sale

Didn't even get to the Cup Final without another rumor about Charles Wang selling the #Isles. This one has him selling to Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov so the team could be moved to Brooklyn. I checked with both sides and have been assured nothing is happening at this time. Not even a hint of discussions. Said this a few times and I'll say it again: unless CW is blown away by an offer that enables him to recover most if not all of his 12 years of losses on the NYI, he's not selling. Next!

Gary Bettman Speaks Again

Above is a link to Gary Bettman's interview with Mike Frances on WFAN.  The two talked about many issues with the NHL, but the one we're going focus on here is the Islanders arena issue.


Bettman says that there is nothing concrete on the Islanders arena issue and Nassau needs to get there act together.  Francesca said the problem is that Nassau is broke, and that he doubts that they will be able to get anything done.  When Bettman was asked if he is hopefully an arena will get built in Nassau, he responded by saying that he is hopeful that somewhere in the New York Metropolitan  will come through.

When the conversation turned to the Barclays Center, Bettman said that Brooklyn is an option that has to be explored.  He also mention how he personally hasn't seen the arena yet and will have to wait to see how hockey plays there.

Nothing really new mention in these comments about the Islanders arena situation, but it does seem like he has taken a softer tone when talking about the Islanders and the possibility of moving them to Brooklyn.

Chris Hasen Launches Website for Seattle Arena

Chris Hansen the man who is trying to bring the NBA back to Seattle, and is also trying find someone interested in bringing an NHL team, has launched a website about the arena situation.  This website tells supporters what they can do to help the cause and informs people about the arena proposal.

If Seattle gets approval of a state of an art arena that will make them that much more dangerous to Islander fans. Seattle is an interesting hockey market.  They had the first American team to win the Stanley Cup with the Metropolitans and their location to Vancouver would create an interesting rivalry.  While other location have completed or are in the process of completing arena plans, Islander fans are still waiting on Ed Mangano's promised next plan.  The clock is ticking and Mangano needs to come up with a realistic plan soon if he wants to keep the Islanders.   

May 20, 2012

One Long Island Team will get Major Renovation to their Arena, but not the Islanders

The 21 million dollars that have been frozen since 2008 for Stoney Brook's renovations of their basketball arena have been freed up.  The Sea Wolves will be able to to have a state of an art multipurpose arena that has been designed by one of the groups involved in Citi Field.

   For the past four seasons, Stony Brook's basketball teams have played in 1,800-seat Pritchard Gymnasium while Stony Brook Arena lay dormant next door, awaiting previously approved state funds for renovation to be unfrozen. The wait ends tomorrow when university officials formally announce a $21.1 million construction project to create a 4,000-seat sports and entertainment venue.

Construction is expected to begin the second week of June, and the facility is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014. The renovations will include four luxury boxes and a VIP lounge area at the loge level with premium courtside seating, thanks to an anonymous private donation of $1 million because state funds cannot be used for that purpose. The north side of the current structure will expand toward the parking lot to create room for concessions, restrooms and a concourse.

Seating capacity for basketball will be 4,008, expandable to 4,200 with floor seating for entertainment events. Unlike the previous arena, most of the seating is permanent except for grandstands that roll back at each end of the court, where student seating is located. One of the architectural companies involved also designed Citi Field for the Mets.;JSESSIONID=505DDFECACC0D080B18902345522EEE4?site=newsday&view=sports_item&feed:a=newsday_5min&feed:c=sports&feed:i=1.3728108&part=0

While 21 million wouldn't put a dent into the work the coliseum would need if renovations is the direction the county and the Isles go in, it is nice to see a Long Island team being able to get an arena to compete in today's economic climate.  The state already has 30 million put aside for the Islanders arena, but a lot more funds are going be needed if the Islanders are going get their own hockey multipurpose arena to stay on Long Island proper. 

Will the Islanders be able to get the renovations or new arena they need to be able to compete in today's sports climate?  One Long Island team has!

For Those Who Think Brooklyn's Layout Could Never Be Changed

There are a lot of people who say that the Barclays Center hockey layout couldn't be changed even if everyone involved wanted to.  Well the Coyotes played in an arena with similar issues and the city of Phoenix had a plan to fix the poor end of the America West Arena.

The city of Phoenix and America West Arena officials plan to unveil a proposal Thursday that would fix the view from up to 3,300 seats, ensuring hockey fans can see both goals.
"There will be more than 17,000 seats with unobstructed views in the arena," Sheryl Sculley, the assistant city manager, said Tuesday.
Currently, fans in 4,200 of the seats can only see one goal when the Phoenix Coyotes play there.

The first phase of the city's proposal would replace about 2,000 of the seats at a cost of $10 million. A second phase could replace an additional 1,300 seats and make other improvements.
Phoenix officials said the renovations would create different seat configurations for varying sporting events. They have recommended that the changes be made even if the Coyotes move to Scottsdale.
Sculley said the plan would be paid for through the arena fund already used to make improvements at the city-owned facility.
"The Coyotes are a great team to have downtown. We want them to stay downtown. We want them to stay at America West," Sculley said. "We hope this takes care of it."

 These changes were never made to the America West Arena, since the Coyotes were unhappy with there lease and wanted there own arena.  The Islanders know all to well the effect a terrible lease can have on a franchise.  The Islanders have what is consider the worse lease in sports and it has had a strangle hold on the team since the day they agreed to it in 1986.  The key for any deal concerning the Islanders is going to be the lease.  The lease will be what determines how successful the team will be wherever they play be it Nassau, Suffolk, Brooklyn, Queens, or even if they leave New York.

If the Islanders ever do move to Brooklyn and the team is successful on and off the ice there, the layout of for hockey at the Barclays Center could and would most likely be changed to make accommodations.  I wouldn't expect major changes to the arena at first, but over time if everybody is happy with the deal those changes can and will most likely take place.

May 19, 2012

NIFA Shows Its Power

NIFA has just nixed a 26 million dollar plan for improvements to Aquatic Center in Nassau.  It was believed by many that even if last summer's referendum won the election that NIFA would of killed it.  NIFA is a panel put together by Albany to review and approve Nassau's financial decisions, since they in such bad economic shape.

NIFA is the major challenge Mangano faces if he wants to use taxpayers money towards a new Coliseum.  While Kate Murray is the challenge preventing private development at the site with her joke of a zoning.  Ed Mangano is going have to find away to work with or around both of them if he wants to keep the Islanders in Nassau County.

 Nassau 's financial control board has turned down a $26 million plan to refurbish the county's Aquatic Center in Eisenhower Park, but approved a $5.4 million contract to renovate the now-closed police shooting range in Hempstead .

Members of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority questioned the cost of the Aquatic Center project before rejecting a $21.8 million contract with E & A Restoration on Thursday. NIFA staff reported the county had already borrowed $11 million, spent $4 million on new machinery, and wanted to borrow an additional $14.8 million.

Although the center's swimming pool and surrounding building is only 13 years old, high humidity and high air chlorine from an improperly designed heating and air conditioning system damaged the duct work, roof, walls and electrical systems, according to the staff report.

NIFA member Chris Wright said spending that kind of money for a recreation facility is "fiscally imprudent even in a good year." NIFA member Dermond Thomas questioned why the county had not prioritized the work by health and safety issues. Chairman Ronald Stack said the county "could come back with a scaled-down contract, saying exactly what they're going to do.";jsessionid=FF9C278E195D278BCAE61AF6AB1E436D?site=newsday&view=top_stories_item&feed:a=newsday_1min&feed:c=topstories&feed:i=1.3726840

I wonder what Chris Wright would have to say about using county money towards a sports arena then.

May 17, 2012

A Change of Plans in Queens

It seems like Queens is planing to change the Willets Point development due to the amount of infrastructure the site needs and other work.

The city had sought bids for the project, initially conceived in 2007 as another in a line of Bloomberg-backed housing developments on which construction would begin before the mayor left office. But people familiar with the matter said the housing and retail project has become unfeasible as once envisioned, as developers have been unwilling to fully commit given the site's challenges.
The site—an industrial area full of car-repair shops that officials have sought to develop for decades—would cost tens of millions of dollars to clean up, and developers were concerned about being able to quickly lure residents and retailers to the unproven area.
Now, Related and Sterling Equities—controlled by Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz—will take a shot with a revamped plan that delays the housing aspect and introduces a larger retail component next to a world-famous professional sports complex. The USTA National Tennis is also nearby.
The first step for the developers would be to take on a costly 20-acre environmental cleanup and build the new parking lots for the stadium, the people said. They would also be required to build a hotel and a small amount of retail just to the east of Citi Field.
Then they would be able to build more than 800,000 square feet of retail on the parking lots to the west of the stadium. Only then would construction begin of the new neighborhood first envisioned by the Bloomberg administration, with the construction of the 400 apartments and 680,000 square feet of retail. That aspect of the project could grow, the people said.
But the deal injects new uncertainty into the development of the area, for which the city has cleared the use of eminent domain to remove holdout landowners. The agreement calls for the developers to make a $35 million payment to the city if they don't begin construction of the final housing piece by 2025—a relatively large penalty for a development deal, the people said. The developers would also be in danger of being removed from the project if they didn't come through by then, the people said.

It seems like the future of the Queens site is still uncertain and this new turn could effect the possibility of the Islanders making it there future home.  The plan of building a mall in what would be the most likey location for either a soccer stadium or hockey arena doesn't help matters either.  Another issues this creates is that the opposition to this developments have new ground for lawsuits due to the changes.

May 16, 2012

Brooklyn Layout Not A Problem

According to several sports experts in a Brooklyn paper interview the layout of the Barclays Center would not be an issue for the Islanders.

Still, some sports experts say the under-construction arena on Flatbush and Atlantic avenues remains the leading option for the squad, claiming the cramped quarters and odd seating arrangement may benefit a team that only averaged 11,000 spectators per game last year.
“It eliminates some very viable seats especially in the lower half of the venue,” said Ray Katz, a managing partner of Source1 Sports and Flatbush native who teaches sports management at Columbia University. “But it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for that team to have limited seating. It would still be a great thing for Brooklyn.”
The team could even turn lemons into iced lemonade by using some of the arena’s dead space to sell ads and merchandise, Katz said.
“There’s other ways to generate revenue from that side of the arena,” said Katz.
The horseshoe-shaped seating configuration might make the stadium look empty on TV — and its effects could be felt on the ice as well.
During games, one goalie would face fans across the rink while the other would look out onto an empty space behind the opposing net — similar to the center field backdrop in baseball — that could cut down on distractions, said sports consultant Michael Neuman.
“They’ll have to deal with any limitations the Barclays Center has,” said Neuman, the managing partner of Scout Sports and Entertainment, a consulting agency.
Nets spokesman Barry Baum confirmed the seating arrangement, but declined to provide further details.
“We have to see how all the sight lines are and then we’ll move forward,” Baum said.
Arena developer Bruce Ratner has long courted the Islanders. Hockey was originally considered for the arena but the plans were scuttled after Barclays Center’s starchitect Frank Gehry was fired in 2009 and his proposed design was scraped to cut costs.
In January, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he found it hard to believe that a deal couldn’t be hammered out to keep the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. But last month Bettman told the AP that the Barclays Center is a viable alternative.

While the Barclays Center may be flawed in many ways it still seems like the most likely option for the Islanders to stay in New York.  Plus Bruce Ratner has already stated that more seats could be used if the Islanders were to move to the arena full time.  Many of those seats would be consider obstructed, since the near board would be unenviable, but the Barclays Center is positive they can make it work and increase the 14,500 seat capacity.  It is still too early to tell if we will ever find out if the Barcalys Center could be a home for an NHL team, but if something isn't put together soon we may very will find out the answer.

May 14, 2012

Multiple Sites being Looked at in Nassau and Suffolk

According to the latest Newsday article the Islanders are still holding hope that they can stay in Long Island proper.

Sources with knowledge of discussions about other potential local sites said the Coliseum's current location is not the only Long Island option. Belmont Racetrack and spots in Suffolk County, including Suffolk Community College's Brentwood campus, are not off the table, they said.;jsessionid=EEDA69DBD70B0E3F53355CED164E81BB?site=newsday&view=top_stories_item&feed%3Aa=newsday_1min&feed%3Ac=topstories&feed%3Ai=1.3715942

The question still remains whether or not either county can make a deal happen.  Both are in terrible financial situations, so public money seems unlikely, or at least a large enough amount to make an impact does.  Wang has already said he will not submit an RFP for the current site, which is understandable.  He has already went through the process and knows that a fully private development there will not work because of Kate Murray's zoning.  On a positive note Magano has said that since Wang will not submit an RFP he has stop the process, since his goal is to have the Islanders be part of the future development of the hub.

My question about Belmont is since the casino idea there is dead what is the new plan?  Is Mangano going try to make his sport entertainment destination there with the racetrack, arena, and maybe another attraction like a soccer stadium or minor league baseball stadium?  Even if that is the case the biggest question still remains how is he going to pay for it! 

As I stated in my recent post Suffolk has there own economic woes.  However, I did find it interesting that the Newsday article did bring up the Suffolk Community College site (that I brought up on my last post), since that plot is adjacent to Heartland Town Square Project.  Plus its the site that Wang was ready to move the team to if the Lighthouse RFP wasn't picked in 2006.  Could Wang have something up his sleeve with the head of that development project Gerald Wolkoff and is waiting for it to get off the ground to make his move?  Your guess about that is as good as mine. 

The good news is that we know for sure that Wang is looking at least at three of the possible local sites Nassau, Suffolk, and Brooklyn.  We are still unsure if he is looking at Queens since no word has been reported yet, but I would think its a safe bet he is talking to them as well.  The more local municipalities that Wang is willing to talk to the better off Islanders fans are. 

May 13, 2012

Suffolk County Economic Woes

Steve Bellone has been trying to narrow Suffolk County's 533 million dollar deficit, but according to Newsday he still has a lot of work ahead of him.

In the past two weeks, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone sent layoff notices to 315 workers, won approval to compel political appointees to pay up to 25 percent of their health insurance and got county lawmakers to endorse his deficit-reduction plan unanimously.

But when Bellone appears before Wall Street rating agencies Monday for an annual review, he will have to tell them that for all his labors so far, Suffolk is still far from closing its looming $530 million budget chasm.

In part, it is because Bellone inherited a $60 million deficit -- double what he had anticipated. While layoffs will save $11.4 million this year and $24 million next year, those savings were already included in the 2012 budget and do nothing to narrow the shortfall.

Bellone's deficit-cutting plan, which needs time to gear up, will only close $20 million of the estimated $149 million hole for this year, aides said. Because some parts still need state or local legislation, his plan only deals with $136.4 million of next year's $350 million gap. The unanticipated $30 million deficit from last year, plus the gaps this year and in 2013, mean that the county still has a $373 million shortfall to close.;jsessionid=B589764E48E3D2C8B9F0FCF760885B90?site=newsday&view=top_stories_item&feed:a=newsday_1min&feed:c=topstories&feed:i=1.3715771

What does this mean for the Islanders chances of getting an arena in Suffolk County?  It means that a deal for the Islanders to land in Suffolk will not include public money.  The Islanders would most likely have to find a to become part of a private development.  There are a few ways that this could happen:

1) One option could be is joining the Shinnecock tribe with their casino deal.  The tribe is planning to build two casinos in Suffolk County.  Charles Wang does have a history of trying to work with the tribe.  He tried to get a casino built on his Plainview property.  There were also stories about Wang and the tribe wanting to build a casino and arena at the Belmont racetrack.

2) Another option is for Wang trying to join a project that is near development.  One example of a project like this is the Heartland Project.  The Heartland project is a three phase project that will be six times larger than the failed Lighthouse project proposed by Wang.  One thing that might give this option a glimmer of hope is the fact that the Islanders signed a memorandum of understanding in 2006 for a plot of land in the project zone.  The Islanders were willing to move to Brentwood where Suffolk Community College is located.

3) Another possible option is that Suffolk is willing to allow Wang to build the Lighthouse project on a piece of land in Suffolk.  One problem with this idea is the amount of time left before the Islanders need to make a decision by the end of their lease in 2015.  There is a lot of work that would need to be done to make this happen, but nobody knows what is really going on behind the scenes.  Bettman has said that the league and the Isles have been talking to other municipalities in New York.

May 8, 2012

Nassau Is Still Alive According to Botta

According to Chris Botta, the Islanders and Nassau are still trying to keep the team right where they are.

More on the future of the #Isles: both Nassau County and #team sources insist that the ship has not sailed when it comes to the hockey team staying where it most belongs. Charles Wang continues to prioritize completing a deal to stay in Uniondale and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano has made it his mission to retain the franchise. It's no secret the clock is ticking and the outlook bleak, but both sides want you to know there will be no sleep 'til Nassau. They might want to go 'round Murray.

May 3, 2012

Can Albany Change the Hub's Development Plan

The Long Island Economic Development Committee has recently proposed an idea where the state will handle the enviromental review for real estate projects.  What would this mean for the Islanders?  It would mean that Kate Murray loses some of her power to prevent a Lighthouse like development, since governor Cuomo would be the one approving the zoning and development for the site. If this idea can become a reality in time the Islanders may have a chance to stay in Nassau County where they belong.  Another impact is that the state could give a project like the Heartland Town Square the green light, which there has been rumors that Wang and Wolkoff might be interested in working together,

Long Island Business News
State eyeing takeover of SEQRA OKs
by David Winzelberg
Published: April 12th, 2012

Long Island economic development officials have proposed a policy change that would shift
environmental review of important regional projects to Albany, sidestepping local foot-dragging
and backbiting.
Locally, the change would affect the redevelopment of such sites as the Nassau Hub, the Enterprise
Park at Calverton and – a clear flash point – the former Cerro Wire site in Syosset, where
Michigan-based Taubman Centers has spent 17 years battling local residents over a proposed mall.
The change was suggested by the local economic development council set up by Gov. Andrew Cuomo
last year and chaired by Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz and Long Island Association chief Kevin
Law. In preparing its strategic plan for the governor, the council noted that many regionally significant
projects “get bogged down at the local level” during the mandated State Environmental Quality
Review, or SEQRA, and that a state agency could “fast-track projects that have been identified as
What the council didn’t say: The reviews are often used by local officials to stall unpopular projects or
arm-twist developers into changes that go well beyond environmental concerns.
No surprise, then, that the proposal brought swift rebuke from the Nassau County Village Officials
Association, which fired off a letter to Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, who heads the regional economic
development program, calling the policy change “a serious mistake” that would lead to conflicts
between the state and local municipalities.
The association also accused developers of wanting to circumvent the current system because “they
can’t make their case at the local level.”
Attorney Howard Avrutine, who represents a neighborhood group fighting the Taubman mall, is also
opposed, but on constitutional grounds.
“Especially on Long Island, the concept of home rule is the foundation of local government,” Avrutine
said. “People created villages because they like the feel of them. They want the ability to mold and
shape the way their villages are developed going forward.”
If adopted, the change could impact such projects as Wyandanch Rising, the Hempstead Village
revitalization, Heartland Town Square and the Ronkonkoma Hub, all of which have been identified as
regionally significant in the local council’s strategic plan.
Land use attorney Chris Kent, of Farrell Fritz in Hauppauge, said the council’s recommendation to give
the state the lead is a reaction to localities that have failed to act on developments that have been
identified as real necessities for the region.
“A few local people are unduly influencing elected officials from making tough decisions,” Kent said.
“Sometimes hard decisions have to be made.”
Hofstra’s Rabinowitz agreed: “Many of Long Island’s most important projects get hopelessly delayed in
local review,” he said. “Putting a state agency in charge could significantly reduce the time it takes to
get a shovel in the ground, lowering development costs and helping the region build the kind of smart
economy we think is vital for job growth and future economic vitality.”
David Calone, chairman of the Suffolk County Planning Commission, agreed that the state could speed
up the reviews, while taking the power from municipalities that use it as an impediment to project
“I think it can work,” Calone said. “At the end of the day the decision has to be with the local boards,
but it might make sense for the SEQRA process to be run at a more regional level.”
Long Island Business News > Print > State eyeing takeover of SEQRA OKs
1 of 2 4/12/2012 3:35 PM

April 30, 2012

Do the Islanders have a Chance to Stay in Nassau County?

Do the Islanders have a chance to stay in Nassau County?  As sad as it is to say, the chance that the Islanders will end up leaving their home for the past forty years are greater than ever.  Kate Murray this week made a statement that they are unwilling to make the zoning they already approved for the hub larger.  What does this mean for the Islanders?  It means that any chance of the site being fully developed by private money with an arena in it went out the window.  Yes the zoning does allow for an arena in it, but the one thing that everyone in Nassau agrees on is that if the arena is part of the plan it will not be a profitable investment.

How about a public/private partnership to build a new arena?  Well Nassau county tried that last summer and it was rejected by the public.  The landslide defeat of the August 1st referendum makes it nearly impossible for that.  Politicians who want to be reelected into office will never suggest a plan that uses public money after seeing how badly that proposal was defeated.

What does all this mean?  It means that Ed Mangano needs to find a plan that will fit into the zoning that won't cost the taxpayers a dime and still be profitable for the developer.  What can that plan be?  Your guess is as good as mine.  He might suggest to renovate the Nassau Coliseum and use Wang's plan from the lighthouse, which only cost 200 million.  Asking for a bond of 200 million and creating a similar financial agreement between the county and Wang the arena renovation could be done without costing the taxpayers a dime or at least a lot less.  However, that figure of 200 million renovation was generated six years ago, so would it cost the same.  Also how would pay if the renovations go over budget.  What about the development around the arena?  Maybe, Mangano can give Wang the same deal Dolan got from New York City. Dolan owns MSG so he gets all the revenue and the city also made the arena tax exempt.  Does anyone see Nassau county doing that?  Yeah, neither do I.  In my opinion these two suggestion would most likely never happen, because of economic and political reasons.

 Ed Mangano must be having many sleepless nights trying to figure out how he can create a plan that will keep the Islanders and make economic sense for everyone.  The Islanders fate in Nassau are bleaker than they have ever been and its up to everyone involve to work together if they truly want to keep the Islanders where they belong.  If it can't be done then hopefully Suffolk, Queens, or Brooklyn can give the Islanders what Nassau couldn't a stable foundation for the organization.  

April 27, 2012

What Does a Handshake Agreement Really Mean?

What does a handshake agreement really mean between the Islanders and Rangers?  According to Randi Marshall the Islanders and Rangers have an agreement if the Islanders decides to move to Brooklyn.  However, one statement she made, which seems wrong is that it would require a money exchange.  The problem with that is that the Islanders already paid the Rangers in 1986 to add Queens and Brooklyn to their territory.  Therefore, the Rangers lost all their legal standing to block the Isles move to Brooklyn or Queens since then.  So its nice the the Rangers are okay that the Islanders have received the Rangers blessing if they decide to move to Brooklyn, but they couldn't do anything about it if they wanted to.

Kate Murray's Cheap Shot

Kate Murray the town of Hempstead's supervisor said that her and the town's job is done when it concerns the Islanders.  What does this mean?  It means that although the one thing everyone can agree on that the zoning of the coliseum site is too small to support an arena will not be changed.  If that wasn't bad enough she took a low blow at the state of the Islanders.  Take a good look at the picture above, because if the Islanders leave Nassau or New York she is the number one person responsible.

  As for the future of the Islanders, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, forever a thorn in the franchise's side, had some things to say today. Murray said, "Our work has been completed. We adopted our zone for the Coliseum area. Because this was such a jewel in the crown property, we created a zone that is sustainable from an economic standpoint." Murray also took a shot: "These are low days for the NHL. With the Rangers, it's exciting." You'll want to follow Newsday reporter

April 24, 2012

My Response to James Darcy

James Darcy a town of Hempstead politician wrote a letter about how Wang and the league should build an arena for Nassau instead of complaining.  Here is the link  if you want to cry, laugh, and feel disgusted.

 In my opinion this is a joke. He wants Wang/ the league to build the town and the county an arena. Yeah, I wish life worked where someone else takes a 100% of the risk and does the work and I get half the revenue. Plus the part about they have the zoning greened light made me want to pull my hair out. Nobody wants to touch that zoning with the arena part of it, because it doesn't make money. The county has been trying to find a developer to build within the town's zoning and have an arena and nobody wants to touch it. Instead of writing letters like this he should try to get all parties to sit down and come up with a plan that works.

April 23, 2012

Brett Yormark WFAN Interview

Earlier today Brett Yormark did an interview on Boomer and Carton.  While the interview did center around the Nets and their move to Brooklyn, he did mention the Islanders.  He believes despite Gary Bettman's concerns he believes that its viable for the Islanders to play there and an exciting possibility.

Tour of the Barclays Center

April 22, 2012

What Does Bettman Statements Mean?

The Question Islander fans are asking themselves is what does Bettman statement on the Islander arena issue really mean..  What Bettman did with his recent statement about Nassau and Brooklyn is but both on notice. 

He was letting Nassau know that he is tired of the games and doesn't believe they have the know how to get the arena done.  Also that if Ed Mangano does comeup with a new plan it better work because this is their last chance to keep their team.

When talking about about the Barclacys Center he always brings up that it may not be the best option for fans because of travel and concerns about the arena for hockey.  What he is doing here is making sure that the Barclays Center isn't getting too comfortable knowing they are the only option in town at the moment.  Bettman wants to make sure that the league and Islanders can get the best deal in Brooklyn possible if they go that direction.  Plus he wants to make sure that Ratner and the Barclays Center know that changes to the arena are going need to be made to make it better for hockey if they want this to work long term.

What about him bringing up Kansas City?  That is what we call folks a threat and a reminder that everyone in New York who is interested in keeping the Islanders better work until its a done deal.  That if people contiune to pass the buck this team can end up leaving the market.

To conclude, Bettman was just making a public statement that he had enough and he isn't going take it anymore.  That he wants to see plans and for them to work this time.

April 16, 2012

Ratner makes another Public Welcome to the Islanders

In a 1010 interview Ratner said the Islanders are more than welcome to play at the Barclays Center.

Ratner also once again welcomed the New York Islanders to the Brooklyn arena. "They could play here. It would be a lot to do the arranging for and so on, but yes it could be done," he said.
 Time will tell if Wang and the Isles will accept his invitation, but having Brooklyn as an option should ease Islander fans worries about leaving New York completely a little bit.

April 15, 2012

Live on, On The Ice

Show starts at 7:00, I should be on around 7:30.

Link is still good to hear the interview and I should be coming in around the 30 minute mark.

April 13, 2012

Edward P. Mangano Comments

Christian (Danbury Isles Fan):
 I was wondering if you/Nassau is concern about the recent articles stating that the Islanders could use the asbestos issue to get out of the lease? What is your plan to deal with the issue?

Ed Mangano:


I cannot discuss the specifics related to this issue since such an action on their part could lead to legal action but I will say, as I have said in the past, that the Islanders belong in Nassau County and that I will do everything in my power to keep them here. I was the first County Executive to get the Islanders, the Town of Hempstead, and the County on the same page and brought us the closest we have ever been to renovating the Hub with the August vote last year. On a weekly basis my administration works with numerous parties on a solution to the Coliseum issue. Again, many of these talks are confidential but I assure you we are working toward a solution and doing all we can to retain the NY Islanders and the economic benefit they provide our region.


Atlantic Yards Development Delayed

Due to the completion date deadline of the Atlantic Yards Development being pushed back to 2035 instead of 2016 a New York court rule a new environmental study is needed for phase 2 the project (Meaning it does not effect the first three towers planned to be built around the arena) .  This new environmental study will further delay the start of the project and adds a new hurdle.  What does this mean for the Islanders?  Well it has been believed that Wang might be interested in part of the Atlantic Yards Development as part of the deal with the Barclays Center.  This news may make him question that option and make Brooklyn a little less attractive.  However, if he decides to move to the Barclays Center he may make a deal that allows him to invest if the project is ever started.  Prokhorov made a similar deal to the one I suggested when he bought the Nets.  The deal gave Prokhorov a 20% option in the project.