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March 31, 2012

Could Nassau Legal Troubles Lead to a Refurbish Arena?

When I was reading through the message boards tonight someone on Islanders Mania made a great point, that Nassau legal problems with the Coliseum could lead to refurbishing.  That the county maybe able to use this to convince the public and NIFA to put money into the arena.  That spending money to refurbish the Coliseum with help from Wang would be cheaper than tearing down the build and removing the asbestos.

Ed Mangano  might actually be able to springboard this bad news to the public private partnership that failed last summer.  He and Wang can agree to split the cost on a full refurbishing of the arena and to take care of the asbestos.  That putting taxpayers money towards resolving the issue and keeping the Islanders money in the county makes more sense, than using the taxpayers money to demolish the arena and to correctly remove the asbestos safely.  This is probably Nassau's best option to gain public support for this project and to get NIFA to at least consider their proposal.

Looking at the cost to demolish an arena:   "The estimated cost to tear down the civic arena (Mellon arena) is $5 million", I may take this option back.  It seems destroying the Coliseum if the asbestos is a serious issue may make more sense.  However, I doubt anything happen to the Coliseum before 2015.

Barclays Center website has a Different Seating Chart than Ticketmaster

The Barclays Center had recently put this seating chart on their website.  This layout is completely different that the Ticketmaster one and what I feared when I read the New York Times article several weeks ago.  I cannot see a professional hockey team playing permanently in a horseshoe layout.  If this is indeed the hockey layout for the Barclays Center the Islanders best option in New York has just taken a major hit in my mind.

March 30, 2012

Nassau Coliseum Consider Safe for the Public even with Asbestos

Below is part of the Newsday article on the topic.  The article mention a future class action lawsuit against the county due to this issue.  Mike Francesa brought up the issue on his show today and said that he believes that the arena will be condemn because of the asbestos and lawsuits, which will lead to Wang moving the team to Brooklyn for good.  Time will tell where this issue will go.   
Asbestos contamination has been found in four locations throughout the Nassau Coliseum , but inspection reports show air quality is safe in public areas of the arena, according to a consulting firm hired by Nassau County.

Additional inspections are being conducted by the state Department of Labor and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration .

An inspection last weekend by J.C. Broderick & Associates Inc. of Hauppauge found asbestos in private corridors and stairwells; in a tunnel below the exhibition hall, and in an ice plant room, the company's report states. Each location measures about 10 square feet and is used primarily by maintenance staff, the analysis found.

"The areas of concern were immediately isolated and access was restricted," said firm owner Brendan Broderick.

Deputy County Executive Rob Walker said "the building is safe for our employees, patrons and users." A remediation plan began Thursday night.

Broderick said signs were posted to prevent people from entering contaminated areas.

But Garden City attorney Joseph Dell, who represents 75 arena employees, contends the contamination is more widespread and may have affected public areas of the building.

Dell represents electricians, carpenters, plumbers, laborers and mechanics who claim to have gotten sick from asbestos, a known carcinogen. A Zamboni driver with 30 years of experience, he said, has mesothelioma, while a laborer who has swept the floors for decades has stage-four lung cancer.

"The clock ticks every day for my clients," said Dell, who is preparing a class-action suit against Nassau County.;JSESSIONID=78FDED3F629A966CCE3FF66FD305F223?site=newsday&view=search_results_item&feed:a=newsday_5min&feed:c=longisland&feed:i=1.3634545&feed:tag=newsday_1min,newsday_5min,newsday_10min&feed:max=50&feed:search=Firm%20says%20Coliseum%20air%20safe%20despite%20asbestos

March 28, 2012

Offical Hockey Layout for Barclays Center

(The above picture is basketball and below hockey.  I have provided both so you can compare the layouts)

The layout for hockey is much better than a thought and even better than the New York Times article made it sound.  It seems like all sections will be useable for hockey, which is good news for the Islanders.

Nassau's Statement on Coliseum Asbestos

What Does October 2nd Really Mean?

What does the game between the Islanders and the Devils at the Barclays Center really mean for the Islanders future?  By no means does a sellout guarantee that the Islanders are moving to Brooklyn.  However, a poor showing by the Islander fan could spell doom.  If the arena is half empty, or even worse it may very well kill the Brooklyn option, and cut the one safety net we have in New York.  A poorly attended game would show the league and Islander ownership that the team's fans aren't interested in a 20 mile move west, even if it is their last hope.  Worse yet it would prove the people who question Long Island as a hockey market right.  We have seen NESN run pieces saying that Long Island isn't a suitable hockey market, and we hear other fans say that nobody would care if the Islanders left New York, since they been irrelevant for 20 years.   That the New York market is over saturated with 3 teams, and the league would be better off with two teams instead.  As Islanders fans we have heard it all.

October 2nd is Islanders fans chance to show the league and the doubters of Long Island as a hockey market that we are still here.  It is our chance to say that we want our team, and that we can still support it.  That if Brooklyn is our only option for staying on the Island we're all aboard and will pack the house.  This isn't about wheather the team should be in Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, or Brooklyn, but whether or not we should have a team on Long Island.  So on October 2nd I'm asking you to stand by me at the Barclays Center, and tell the league and doubters that Islander fans are here and we aren't going anywhere. 

March 27, 2012

Suffolk County New Peson In-charge of Economic Development

New York City real estate consultant Joanne Minieri, who until last June was president of the company building Brooklyn's mammoth Atlantic Yards and the new New Jersey Nets arena, will be named Tuesday to head Suffolk's beefed-up economic development agency, according to business officials and Bellone administration sources.

Spokeswoman Vanessa Baird Streeter declined to identify the "private sector" choice, but she said County Executive Steve Bellone will hold a news conference in Hauppauge to disclose the $170,000-a-year appointee.

Bellone says a new business czar and an overhauled economic development agency are key to reviving Suffolk's long-term fiscal health. Since taking office in January, Bellone has increased the economic development staff from 27 to 100.

Until last summer, Minieri, 51, was president and chief operating officer for Forest City Ratner Companies. In 2009, Crain's New York Business listed her 31st among New York City's 50 most powerful women. She also served as executive vice president and chief financial officer in her 16 years with Ratner.;JSESSIONID=D0FB05717647C752C1D5.3221?site=newsday&view=search_results_item&feed%3Aa=newsday_1min&feed%3Ac=business&feed%3Ai=1.3625019&feed%3Atag=newsday_1min%2Cnewsday_5min%2Cnewsday_10min&feed%3Amax=50&feed%3Asearch=Suffolk+to+get+new+economic+development+chief

Its too early to know how this will effect the Islanders and their chances of getting a new home in Suffolk.  However, by working with Ratner, Joanne Minieri has experience in arena deals and now how to create successful public private partnership.  This is something we should keep an eye on.

March 25, 2012

Barcalys Hockey Sightlines

The picture above is the America West Arena above and it had many of the same issues that the Barclays Center will for hockey.  The Coyotes were able to play in this arena from 1996 to 2003 and I think the Islanders could play at the Barclays Center for a temporary period of time as is.  If the Islanders do move to Brooklyn there probably be a trial run of a few seasons and if its successful the arena will be altered to work better for hockey.  Plus the team would still be talking to Queens, Suffolk, or anyone else who wants the team in case Brooklyn is a disaster.  Below is a description of how America West Arena worked for hockey.  In hindsight the  the Coyotes probably would of been better off staying in Phoenix with a more favorable lease and renovating America West for hockey.  When they moved to the city of Glendale they lost a good number of fans they built while they were in Phoenix.  One advantage the Islanders do have over the Coytoes when they first moved to Arizona is an established fan base.  The Islander fan base will suppor this team in Brooklyn if they now this is our last hope of saving our team from Quebec, Seattle, Kansas City, Saskatoon, and anyone else interested in an NHL team.
When the Winnipeg Jets NHL franchise announced their intention to move to Phoenix as the Coyotes for the 1996–97 season, the arena was quickly reconfigured for hockey. Unlike most multipurpose arenas, America West Arena's sightlines were not designed with a hockey rink in mind. While its tight seating configuration suits basketball very well, it made it difficult to fit a standard NHL rink onto the floor. The lower level had to be sheared in half to fit the rink and create retractable seating.

As it turned out, the result was completely inadequate for the Coyotes. Most notably, a section of seats in the upper level actually hung over the boards, obstructing the view from over 3,000 seats. In those areas, a good chunk of the view from beyond the top of the face-off circle was cut off.[9] The problem was so serious that after the team's first season in Phoenix, the team had to curtain off some seats in the areas where the view was particularly obstructed, cutting listed capacity from over 18,000 seats to just over 16,000.

The Coyotes added a second video board in an area where the view was particularly obstructed, and also put up numerous proposals to improve sight lines in order to boost capacity back over the 17,000 mark.

Time is TIcking in Arizona

The National Hockey League  could start looking to relocate the Phoenix Coyotes  if progress isn’t made on a sale to keep the team in Arizona, according to a report out of Canada.
Darren Dreger of Canada’s TSN sports network said the NHL could start seriously looking at Coyotes relocation options next week if there isn’t progress on the Coyotes sale here.
The team could end up moving to Seattle, Kansas City, Las Vegas or Quebec City, according to TSN and Dreger.

Why is this important news concerning the Islanders?  Well if the Coyotes do relocate to Quebec that is one less threat of the Islanders leaving New York.  Plus in my mind that would satisfy the amount of teams that Canada can support with eight.  Seattle doesn't have a deal in place and Kansas City doesn't have a local ownership group in place.  The Coyotes move to Quebec would some what lessen the threat of the Islanders leaving New York all together and give other local municipalities time to put together an offer..

John Graham the Man who want bring the NHL to Saskatoon

Another Canadian city is gaining interest in bring an NHL team to town.  That city is Saskatoon and the man behind that dream is John Graham.  Puck Daddy did an interesting piece on the man and below is a small piece of the article and the link to read the entire thing.

There was a time when the idea of an NHL franchise in Saskatoon would have been worth little more than a cheap laugh. But the unexpected bid has gained some steam this year, to the point where some impressive individuals have thrown their support behind it. With the strong early returns in Winnipeg setting a precedent for potential success in a small market, the notion is worth at least a beard stroke these days.
It's still a long shot, to be certain. The Conference Board of Canada reports that an NHL franchise couldn't survive with a population base below Winnipeg's 750,000, and Saskatoon's population base is about one-third that size. But if there's one big reason that you should be rooting for On Ice Management, the group trying to bring another NHL franchise to the Canadian Prairies, it's John Graham, the man at the front of it.
This guy is Dos Equis interesting. If his group's bid was ever accepted, he would instantly become hockey's most intriguing owner. From Kevin Mitchell at Saskatoon's Star Phoenix:
He's played professional hockey in Sweden, beat cancer, broken down in the Sahara Desert while racing the infamous Paris to Dakar rally, pulled an unconscious fellow driver out of a burnt car during a race, and both introduced and nearly killed junior hockey in Moncton.;_ylt=ApvfAgKcOVFnDycwbNhCfkyRbcp_;_ylu=X3oDMTFja3NwYTFmBG1pdANCbG9ncyBJbmRleARwb3MDMQRzZWMDTWVkaWFCbG9nSW5kZXhUZW1w;_ylg=X3oDMTFvcGs0cnBnBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANibG9nBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3?cmp=fb

Quebec is Building

Quebec is going have a new arena that will be ready by September 2015.  Make no mistake this is the biggest threat to Islanders fan and makes the October 2nd game in Brooklyn that much more important.  The team's ownership and league need to be convince that Brooklyn will work and that the Islander fans are willing to go there.  One way to do that is by selling out the preseason game. 
QUEBEC CITY - Quebec City took another major step in its quest to regain an NHL franchise with the announcement Sunday afternoon that a deal has been reached to construct a $400 million, 18,000-seat arena complex scheduled to be ready in 2015.  "The dream has finally become a reality," said Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume at a news conference. Construction is set to begin in September. The arena will be located on the site of the old Quebec City Hippodrome.  The arena will be a public-private partnership between the city and Quebecor Media Inc., owner of QMI Agency and Sun Media.  Quebecor President and CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau was at the press conference and said the new building, which he referred to as a multifunctional amphitheatre, will be a "source of pride for all citizens of the Quebec City region and for all Quebecers alike."  The deal was reached Friday night, Labeaume said, adding with a smile that Peladeau was a "hard negotiator."  Earlier in the negotiation process, QMI Agency learned that Quebecor will pay $33 million for naming rights and management of the arena. The value of the agreement rises to $63.5 million if Quebec City lands an NHL franchise.

March 23, 2012

Newsday Update on Asbestos at the Coliseum

An inspector for the state Department of Labor has been analyzing the Nassau Coliseum to determine whether asbestos in the popular concert, recreation and sports venue poses a cancer threat.

"We can confirm that we did send an inspector out to the Nassau Coliseum and we are doing an asbestos investigation," said Leo Rosales , spokesman for the agency, based in Albany. "That's the extent of what we can say at this time."

Nassau County has previously acknowledged that the arena, which opened in 1972, contains asbestos within its walls, but the issue surfaced again this week when an attorney who represents some of the Coliseum workers spoke with NBC News 4.;JSESSIONID=0D3FA9B06B318AA709EA.3216?site=newsday&view=search_results_item&feed:a=newsday_1min&feed:c=breakingnews&feed:i=1.3620466&feed:tag=newsday_1min,newsday_5min,newsday_10min&feed:max=50&feed:search=State%20checking%20Coliseum%20for%20asbestos
Please click the link to see the entire Newsday article.

     I think Wang is going to want to force Nassau's hand with this latest news.  He will tell Nassau its now or never because the current arena is unsafe for the public, and if they balk give Brooklyn a shot to keep them in New York.  If its a disaster he sells, and if Brooklyn works he stays.  (Once again this depends on the arena being condemn and Nassau not being able to resolve the problem, which would break the lease.)

Nassau Coliseum Asbestos?

NBC 4 reported tonight that the Nassau Coliseum is being investigated for asbestos be federal and state inspectors.  Three independent labs reports asbestos at dangerous airborne levels.  Below is a link to the piece.!/on-air/as-seen-on/Nassau-Coliseum-Asbestos-/144042846
It won't let me link the video directly, so click on the link and then press recent videos on the left.  Sorry for the inconvenience.

If the Coliseum is consider unsafe to give Wang a loophole out of the lease.  If that actually happen Wang might use that chance to give Brooklyn a trial run for a few years to see if it could be a successful adventure.

It should be noted that NIFA approved emergency repairs yesterday for the Coliseum and one has to wonder if the repairs are for this issue.  This may be an opening to Wang or a big nothing.  For those people in Nassau who are outrage by this news, they should rethink their August 1st vote.

March 22, 2012

Another Report of our Demise

BD Galloff just wrote an article for WFAN explaining why he thinks it is more likely that the Islanders will be relocating out of New York than staying.  Below is a part of the article and the link so you can read the entire piece. 
More than a year ago an Islanders source warned me that the minority percentage of possible suitors outside of New York would rapidly climb. Eventually, that person said, this idea might even become an even bigger possibility.
I was told this right before the referendum attempt by Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Islanders owner Charles Wang blew into pieces due to a recession, politics and the county’s severe growth limitations.
So, now that we are at the end of what has been a long season for hapless fans who have watched their hapless team once again come up short of achieving any real goals, it is also time to really look at the team with correct lenses.
The Islanders may very well be packing their suitcases in a few years.

March 21, 2012

Old News but Proof of a Relationship

This article is from December of 2010 and we already now that the Plainview casino proposal failed.  However, it does show that the tribe and Wang do have a relationship and are willing to work together.  The question is could this lead to a casino and arena development in Suffolk County?  To me this seems like the best chance for the Islanders to stay on Long Island proper and to have a hockey centric arena in New York.
The thought of a Vegas-style casino in Plainview may seem far-fetched to some.
But Lance Gumbs says the Shinnecock Indian Nation, based in Southampton, believes an undeveloped parcel of land between Old Country and Round Swamp roads is a very viable location.
When asked about the prospect in a recent interview, the Nation's leader answered in a single word: "Absolutely," he said. He stressed, however, that the Shinnecocks would not go anywhere they weren't welcome.
But a casino being welcome in Plainview appears to be a longshot.
"A casino is totally inconsistent with our single family community character," said Plainview's Carol Meschkow, a civic leader who has long been active in area development issues.
"There are better uses of the land than a casino," said Gary Epstein, president of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Chamber of Commerce. "The project would draw traffic that would not be suitable to our community's residents and would not add to our stature as a town where people would like to 'live, work and play.' "
The property, now owned by Islander's owner Charles Wang, has long been a magnet for controversy. Nassau County operated a tuberculosis hospital on the grounds for decades. The abandoned shells of the Georgian-style buildings still stand. The county sold the property as a "one-shot revenue stream," several years ago," Meschkow said.

New England Hockey Journal Mention Isles Arena Issue

Stan Fischler wrote a wide ranging article in the New England Hockey Journal.  The piece below is the small part of his article where he talks about the Islanders and their arena issue.
Nassau County (NY) politicians have for years ignored Islanders reasonable requests for help in building a new arena. Now they had better take note of the scoreboard overhanging the Coliseum in Uniondale. On all four sides it proclaims BARCLAYS CENTER and that also appears on the arena’s message board. The message to politicians is clear: not only are the Isles slated to play an exhibition game with the Devils next fall at the new Brooklyn arena, but implicit is the fact that the 14,500-seat (for hockey) building could conceivably be the Isles next home.

Could Shinnecock and Wang Partner Up for Suffolk Development

PLAINVIEW - A public meeting will be held tonight to discuss whether there is room for 900 new homes, a bank and a supermarket in Plainview.
Islanders' owner Charles Wang owns the 143 acre property off Round Swamp and Old Country roads.
Wang's new plan called "Country Pointe at Plainview" would include about 900 multi-family housing units.
Wang's past proposals, including a Shinnecock owned casino, were shot down.

This News 12 report mentions how Wang wanted one of the two Shinnecock Casino on his Plainview site.  This fact shows that their have been past talks between the two parties about a joint adventure.  As the article mention that plan was rejected, but one has to wonder if Wang and the tribe would be willing to work together at a Suffolk County location.  The first of the plan casinos is probably to far east for the Islanders to consider, but that doesn't rule out the second casino the tribe wants.
YAPHANK - The Shinnecock Indian Nation is considering another possible site for its planned casino, this time in Suffolk County, sources close to the plan say.
The 92-acre parcel of land is just south of the Long Island Expressway, off of Sills Road in Yaphank.
Some Suffolk officials say the news is exciting for the county. The site's proximity to the Long Island Rail Road and the expressway would make it an easy-to-reach destination for travelers, officials say.

Wang and the tribe could be able to work out arrangements for a deal at the second location, which has yet to be determine.  According to Newsday Brookhaven and Brentwood are two locations being consider.  It is believed a site by the new railroad depot in Brookhaven is favored by the tribe.  Why would the Shinnecock want Wang and the Islanders?  Well, New York is blaming to open 7 non-tribe casinos, and Aqueduct raceway is going have a full class three casino and the largest convention center in the county.  The Islanders and an arena (with all the family shows and concerts) would give them something to draw people in with all the new competition that is going be around that will be needed.  Why would Wang want to partner with the Shinnecock?  It will give him the additional development around the arena he would need and it would allow him to keep the team on Long Island.        

March 19, 2012

Shinnecock Eye Suffolk

At one point it was thought the Islanders and Shinnecok were going to join forces on the Belmont site, but with Cuomo's partnership with Genting that option has gone out the window.  Genting wants at least a 25 mile non compete with their casino at Aqueduct in exchange for the 4 billion dollar convention center they would build New York City.  The question now is weather or not the Islanders could make that rumor partnership and then move it to Suffolk County.

    The tribe, with backing from state and Nassau County Republican lawmakers, spent much of last year trying to build support for a casino at Belmont Park racetrack. But lawmakers abandoned the Belmont plan after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo threw his support behind Genting, a Malaysia-based casino developer that wants to build a full casino at its Aqueduct Racino.
Now, sources say, the Shinnecocks and their financial backers at Gateway Casino Resorts are focusing on Suffolk County -- an imperative given a 25-mile exclusion zone Genting is expecting to be granted for any full-scale casino at Aqueduct.
Numerous Suffolk sites have been considered, including county and private land near Pilgrim State Psychiatric Hospital in Brentwood, but the Yaphank parcel has several advantages. It is contiguous to the rail spur, providing a transportation hub for potential casino-goers, and also is on the service road of the Long Island Expressway.
A spokeswoman for New York Rail declined to comment. The Shinnecock Indian Nation wouldn't discuss locations for a casino until they are finalized.
Vanessa Baird-Streeter, spokeswoman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, could not be reached for comment.

Its a long shot, but it seems with Suffolk deficit a large private development would be needed for the Islanders to get an arena in Suffolk at this point

March 18, 2012

Another Brooklyn Article

 I know some of you are excited about Brooklyn after the interview with Ratner the other day during the Islanders intermission.  While others are concern because of the New York Times article from a few weeks ago where the head of construction of the Barclays Center said the arena will use a horseshoe layout (at least for the lower bowl) for hockey.
 According to Robert Sanna, Forest City Ratner’s executive vice president for construction and design development, the seating capacity will be reduced to 14,500 from 18,000 for basketball, which would make it the league’s smallest rink. Retractable seats will mostly be collapsed on one end, closest to the Atlantic Terminal side, and therefore the alignment around the rink will resemble a horseshoe.

John Brenan wrote an article on the topic and made a fair point about the layout of the arena.
Meanwhile, that Oct. 2 game will be one of the most important ones in Islanders’ preseason history.
No matter how many studies the Islanders and Barclays Center do, there is no market research that matches having real NHL fans in the building letting you know which sightlines are acceptable and which are not.
The more seats turn out to be legitimately sellable on game nights, the better it is for the Islanders –and for the Barclays Center, which would get some Long Island folks into the building once the Islanders arrived who might not make the trek otherwise. If those fans like the arena, they’ll come back for more events, which means more money for the Barclays Center.

Without a doubt Brooklyn and its design for hockey is a last resort for the team to stay in New York, but I believe that we have reached that point.

March 16, 2012

Quebecor is ready For Bringing Hockey Back to Quebec

Quebecor has stated that they have all the tools and resources they need to bring the NHL back to Quebec.
Quebecor, owner of Sun Media, made the statement as it reported a surge in income and profits for 2011.
"Quebecor Media now has all the tools it needs to pursue its goals, which are to manage a world-class multipurpose centre and to bring a National Hockey League team to Quebec City," the company said in a statement.
Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau has made it clear that he is very interested in buying an NHL team and moving them to Quebec.  He has already 25 year 33 million dollar deal for naming rights on a new arena that is planed to be completed by 2015.  If that year sounds fimilar to you that is since its the same year the Islanders lease ends with Nassau.  At the moment it seems like its going be a two horse race between Brooklyn and Quebec for the Islanders, but there is a chance that a dark horse may come in and win this race.  If not though then make your choice Brooklyn or Quebec.  I know who I am rooting for in this race.

March 15, 2012

Video of the Bruce Ratner Interview

Bruce Ratner Intermission Interview Tonight

Bruce Ratner was at tonight's game and answered some questions about the Islanders and Brooklyn.  The first issued he resolved is when tickets were going to go on sale for the game against the Devils on October 2nd, which is March 29th.  Ratner admits believes that Charles first choice is Nassau, but if that doesn't workout he would love them to be in Brooklyn. When confronted about the sight-lines Ratner said the 14,5000 useable seats will have perfect views of the ice and will be right on top of the action.  In addition, Ratner said that parking will be plentiful around the arena with 8 to 10 parking lots.  Bruce Ratner ended his interview with I love the Islanders and we got to keep them here.  Get it done Bruce and save our team, because Brooklyn looks like the best option at the moment.

March 14, 2012

Nassau Passes Over 10,000 Seat Arena

At tonight's state of the county Ed Mangano announced the winner of the two proposals for the Mitchell Fields Development.  He decided to by pass the proposal by the Rough Riders soccer team that offer the county a 3,000 seat outdoor arena and a 10,000 seat arena/convent center.  Instead he selected:

Mangano also disclosed that Nassau Sports and Events LLC has won a bid to build a 105,000-square-foot exposition center at the Mitchel Field Athletic Complex in Uniondale . The plan calls for multipurpose fields, basketball and volleyball courts, a rock-climbing wall, a laser tag area and a fitness center.
This may not be much, but by not selecting the proposal that could offer a smaller replacement for the Nassau Coliseum it seems like Magano is holding out hope that the county will keep the Islanders.

Ratner and Wang have Been Talking

According to Bruce Ratner in his New York Times interview, he and Islanders owner Charles Wang have had various discussions.

Q. And what about bringing the Islanders hockey team there?

A. We’d love to have the Islanders. We’ve had various discussions with the owner, Charles Wang. He has to stay where he is, I think, until 2015. I don’t know what will happen.

Another topic in the interview was about the Atlantic Yards Development that will be built around the arena.

Q. What is the status of the Atlantic Yards housing? Groundbreaking was supposed to have begun this year.

A Breaking ground on the housing we had hoped would begin this year, and it will begin this year, toward the end of the year. A major reason that it’s gotten delayed is a strong desire to do modular.
Let me just say, there’s a lot of construction going on there besides the arena. Part of what we are doing and had to do was the infrastructure. We also had to move a railroad storage yard. And we’re working on additional infrastructure: the subway tunnel that connects the project, the arena, with existing subways.
 That was just a small segment of on Atlantic Yards Development of the interview.  Hopefully, Wang and Ratner have also talked about joining forces on this project as well as having the Islanders play in the Barclays Center.

March 13, 2012

Brett Yorkman

Reported by Netsdaily,  Brett Yorkman wrote in an email: 
“Hockey will have a place at Barclays Center,” was all Brett Yormark had to say Monday in an e-mailed statement.
 This quote was part of an article on the KHL's games at the Barclays Center, but you have to think that response has some meaning for the Islanders.  The Islanders were also mention in the article and are playing an October 2nd preseason game against the Devils there.

Flyer Faithful Interview
Last night i did an interview on Flyer Faithful on the Islanders and the arena issue.  Just so you know I would give this a pg13 rating and my jokes on the Islanders were done out of love.  I mean if you can't laugh about it then you'll cry and go crazy.

March 12, 2012

Jeff Capellini is Perdicting Our Demise

Jeff Capellini who writes for WFAN is predicting the end of the New York Islanders after the end of their lease in 2015.

 Barring the seemingly more and more unlikely destination of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the Islanders would likely need a minimum of 18 months to build a new place to play. Where and how they acquire that piece of property is another issue, one that, as we’ve seen, doesn’t seem all that important to the powers that be right now, even though it should be for all involved the first priority.
A year and a half from this very moment puts us in training camp for the 2013-14 season, exactly one year from the beginning of the Islanders’ final season on the lease at Nassau Coliseum. By doing the construction timetable math it’s fairly easy to see that the franchise has no choice but to get something done in the next year, including, if the Coliseum is to be refurbished, finding a place to play temporarily for a minimum of one season.
Again, knowing what we know and have seen, this all just feels like semantics, like a pipe dream just to hold on to some hope that the once-proud tradition of Islanders hockey will continue in the only area it has ever called home.
To many people, Brooklyn seems like the savior. Fans I know just ask repeatedly “Why don’t they just do that?” It’s not that simple. While the Barclays Center is an attractive notion, regardless of the fact that its NHL capacity would likely fall short of the 16,250 that’s a full house at the Coliseum, Charles Wang has lost approximately $250 million as the owner of this franchise and it has been widely reported, in addition to being extremely logical, that this man has no intention of simply writing that loss off. No matter what he ultimately decides to do, be it a sale or if he holds onto the club, he’s going to get much of that money back. And currently the idea of Brooklyn doesn’t afford him that avenue of revenue. Maybe the development of Atlantic Yards could be part of the deal, but, again, it would be another negotiation in the mechanism, one that would have a million moving parts and one that almost certainly would further slow the political and financial process. Pleas read the entire article.

There is one point that I disagree with that Jeff Capellini made, which is how difficult it will be to get in on the Atlantic Yards Development.  The project has already been zoned and approved and is just wait for the financing to get off the ground.  The only thing that needs to happen is for Wang and Bruce Ratner to come to an agreement that makes sens for both parties and makes both of them money.  That doesn't seem like a lot of moving parts and politics to me.  It seems like two billionaire friends helping each other out so they can make more money.

We Need Answers and a Resolution

An another disappointing Islander season is coming to a close the talk is going turn to the teams arena situation.  The fan base is tired of waiting and fail attempts of a new arena.  We are tired of the fear of losing are beloved franchise always hanging over our heads.  We are tired of our Atlantic division rival fans invading our arena and chanting different cities we might relocate to at us.  This off season for the sake of the franchise and to be able to develop as an organization we need a resolution.  We need to know that the team will not be relocating. We need a stable financial base so money can once be invested into the team to make them competitive again.

With that rant out of the way the problem is it doesn't seem like Nassau, Queens, or Suffolk can provide us with a resolution.  Nassau is broke and so is Suffolk.  Apparently Suffolk County  has a deficit of 533 million dollars and are trying to figure out how to get back  in the black for their budget.  We already know that the Nassau taxpayers don't want to pay for a new arena, and that the town of Hempstead doesn't want a large enough development that would all an arena to be fully paid for privately.  Everything we hear about Queens is that the redevelopment around Citi Field is years away because of legal issues.  In my mind there are three options this organization can make this off season.

1) Continue  to play at the Nassau Coliseum and hope somehow an arena lands in our laps by 2015.  This would also mean to continue to run a bare bones operation and having a roster full of undeveloped kids and NHL has beens.  This would mean seeing three more seasons of hockey like the last four we have seen. 
Maybe Wang will come to his senses and realize if the team made a run and sold-out the building every night more pressure would be on Nassau, which will make him make a positive off season move.  Even with that said if Nassau had pressure on them to keep the team I don't think they can afford it.

2) Buyout the lease and use Brooklyn as a short term option.  This would Wang would have to pay the rest of  the money he owes Nassau and SMG from the lease.  The teams future would still be up in the air and they would be 20 miles further west on Long Island.  However, if they ever did this in my mind they would already have a deal with NYC for an arena in Queens, and would be using the Barclays Center as a stop gap until the legal troubles are over in Queens.

3) Make the Barclays Center you permanent home.  Spend the off season allowing fans to adjust to the move and have a huge PR campaign explaining to the Islander Faithful why this happen.  At the same time offer them discounted packages for tickets and to the game and the Long Island Railroad.  Invest in the Atlantic yards Development to offset the the negatives of having   a smaller arena and to show Brooklyn you committed to the area.  Plus it would show Islander fans that the organization is committed to staying in New York.  Spend money this off season on free agents or make a trade, because of your stability, and get people talking about Islanders hockey and the new venue.

March 11, 2012

Willets Point

This New York Times article is about the possibility of New York City getting a professional soccer team, but one line in the article is important when concerning the Islanders. 
Willets Point, the tumbledown area near Citi Field in Flushing, is targeted for redevelopment, but any plans there could be delayed years by litigation.

The one thing the Islanders are short on is time and these legal issues with Willets Point Development will most likely take this option off the table. 

March 9, 2012

Really Nassau???;JSESSIONID=9B17EFC233188655E171CEF661208E95?site=newsday&view=top_stories_item&feed:a=newsday_1min&feed:c=topstories&feed:i=1.3587382
Nassau County has received two bids to build an enclosed sports and exposition center at the Mitchel Field Athletic Complex in Uniondale -- the first major development in the Hub region in more than a decade, county officials said.

Both proposals would privately finance an athletic complex that would bring in revenue for the cash-strapped county, said Brian Nevin, spokesman for County Executive Edward Mangano. Details on the cost of the projects, and the revenue they would bring in, were not made public.

County officials will make a decision between the two bids by the end of the month and construction could conclude by the end of 2012, Nevin said.
 One bid from the Long Island Rough Riders soccer team envisions an outdoor 3,000-seat soccer stadium. The Rough Riders, who plays home games at Saint Anthony's High School in South Huntington , would return to Mitchel Field after a six-year absence, according to the plan.

The proposal also features a 10,000-seat indoor exposition center with locker rooms, a merchandise store and a physical therapy center.

"It's the best of both worlds," said Rough Riders president Peter Zaratin, pointing to the mix of outdoor and indoor options. "And it would be great if we can have a facility we can call home."
 If Nassau County does select the plan that involves a 10,000 seat arena at the Mitchel Field sitethen to me they have given up on keeping the Islanders.  There is no way the county can have two arenas that close to each other.  A 10,000 seat arena would makes sense for the county if they don't have a professional sports team.  They would still be able to have concerts, family shows, and many other forms of entertainment.  However, if Nassau does select this plan then you can kiss the Islanders goodbye in Nassau.  How can you have two arenas in the same hub, and a 10,000 seat arena is way too small to house an NHL team.  The door is closing on the Islanders time in Nassau. The question now is does the next door lead to the Islanders moving to Brooklyn, or out of the state. (Just to make it clear the county says this plan is separate from the Isles, but I just think having two arenas that close to each other is nuts)

March 6, 2012

Saskatchewan Government Confirms Interest in NHL Team

 Ken Cheveldayoff, a government official confirms that there are private groups who want to bring the NHL to Saskatoon.  Here is a little piece from CBCNEWS article I suggest you read the rest as well.
Cheveldayoff said it's too soon to say what, if anything, the provincial government might be asked to contribute.
"We have to have a building that's NHL-ready, we have to have a business community that's ready to support this initiative, we have to have individuals that are willing to buy season tickets for the long term, and the NHL has to want it to happen," he said.
Hockey fans tweeted up a storm last week, after TSN commentator Bob McKenzie wrote a column musing about the possibility of an NHL team relocating to Saskatoon's Credit Union Centre.
But Premier Brad Wall warned that talk of an NHL team for Saskatoon is very speculative at this time.

March 5, 2012

New York Islanders Fan Central's Interesting Find

The New York Islanders Fan Central has made an interesting find that the Nassau Coliseum has hired a new general manager in charge of booking events.  The article is a must read and has an interesting question: Is Nassau letting Wang out of the lease early, and that is why a new person in-charge of booking is needed. 

Tulsa World: Reports Jerry Goldman, who has served as the BOK Center’s assistant general manager since it opened in August 2008, has been hired to be the general manager of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

In that role, Goldman will be responsible for the overall operations and booking of the facility.

Both facilities are overseen by SMG venue management firm.

New Barclays Center Video

March 4, 2012

Additional Developemnt Will Be Key

No matter where the Islanders wind up in New York after 2015 additional development around the arena will be key.  The development will be needed to help fund an arena in the cases of Suffolk and Nassau County as well as giving Wang additional revenue.  When it comes to Brooklyn the development is needed so Wang can make up the revenue he will lose with an arena that only hold 14,500.  If the Islanders do end up in Queens it will most likely be part of the redevelopment plans of Willets Point. No matter where the location is I believe that additional development is needed to make the arena a worth while investment for Wang or any owner the Islanders have.

In my opinion the two most likely landing spots of the Islanders in New York are Brooklyn and Suffolk County.  Brooklyn since it has an arena being built and a green light for development around the arena.  The questions become whether or not Wang is interested in the Barclays Center and the Atlantic Yard development, and if he can get a large enough percentage of the development to make it worth his while.  Suffolk County is the next most likely landing spots, because they have plenty of land for a lighthouse type project.  Wang's dream has been to create a destination center on Long Island, and if he still wants that Suffolk gives him a better chance than Nassau in making that dream a reality.  If Wang is worry about going through the entire development process he might consider jumping on one of the future development projects like the Heartland Town Square or Ronkonkoma Hub. The Heartland project has been proposed for ten years now and is actually part of the site in Brentwood that Wang consider moving the Isles to in 2006.

 The problem that I see with Queens at the moment is the legal trouble that the Willets Point Development is facing and the fact that the Wilpons are broke.  When it comes to Nassau the taxpayers already expressed that they had no interest in spending a dime for an arena and the Hempstead has made a zoning that won't allow for arena to be profitable.  Unless these problems change soon Queens and Nassau are long shots for the Islanders in my mind.

March 2, 2012

The French are Coming!The French are Coming!

Just in-case you forgot the Nordique Nation is coming down from French Canada for the Islanders Boston game tomorrow.  This is another attempt to force the NHL hand to bring a franchise back to Quebec and don't think for one second they don't have there eyes set on the Islanders.  It isn't by chance, or accident that they plan to have their new arena completed by 2015 and that the Islanders leases ends the same year.  This should be another painful reminder to Islander fans that they need a local solution soon before an out of market venue steals their team.

Nordiques Nation, a hockey-loving bunch of Quebec crazies, say they'll be here in the Hub for the March 3 game against the Islanders. Their mission is to convince the NHL to bring a franchise back to the land of Le Colisee. Upward of 2,000 of them typically come to games, often sporting Nordiques bleu ....

March 1, 2012

Add Saskstoon to the List of Cities that Want an NHL Team

...interested parties in Saskatoon have contacted the league and suggested there are individuals or parties in Saskatoon who would be willing to ante up the required purchase fee while various levels of government in Saskatchewan would make necessary arrangements to expand and make NHL-suitable the 15,800-seat Credit Union Centre.

Even though Saskatoon's actual population is around 250,000 -- which at face value would seem to be far too small to support an NHL franchise -- the Saskatoon interests are pitching that an NHL franchise there would be supported by the entire province and it would be a viable operation. In 1983, the St. Louis Blues almost moved to Saskatoon. Then-owner Ralston Purina were going to sell the franchise to Bill Hunter, who was going to relocate it to Saskatoon. The league blocked the move, took the franchise over when Ralston Purina effectively abandoned it and sold it to Harry Ornest, who kept the team alive in St. Louis.