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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.

April 11, 2012

Mikhail Prokhorov

In a recent interview Mikhail Prokhorov talked about the potential for the Islanders moving to Brooklyn.

Courting the Islanders to Barclays? Our arena, we reached agreement with National Hockey League. Now we can play ice hockey here. But in the time being we have no practical plan with any other team. But we will see in the future.
From this statement it seems like the Barclays Center has been cleared by the NHL as a potential site for a team.  If that is the case that is great news for Islander fans, since it means the team has a safety net if they cannot get an arena in Nassau, Suffolk, or Queens.

April 10, 2012

Gary Bettman on WFAN

Gary Bettman was on WFAN with Mike Francesa today and the first topic they discussed was the Islanders arena issue.  Bettman is still holding out hope that something will be done in Nassau to keep the Islanders there.  When asked about Brooklyn he said the league hasn't really explored the option yet.  His two concerns are the layout for hockey, but he believes the Barclays Center when they say they can make it work, and the commute for fans in Nassau and Suffolk.  He is worried that so many people in those areas prefer to drive than to take public transportation.  Bettman's concerns for Brooklyn are fair and realistic.  Only time will tell how this saga will end.

Brooklyn Newspaper Suggest Asbestos can Lead to Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Paper is reporting that if the Coliseum asbestos problem isn't fixed by the start of next hockey season the team will be moving to Brooklyn.
A state investigation into claims that the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum — where the New York Islanders’ hockey team plays its home games — is filled with the cancer-causing fiber could bring the team to the $1-billion, asbestos-free Prospect Heights arena if the lethal substance isn’t removed by the start of next season.
It seems like Nassau is going have to put money into the Coliseum otherwise the team might leave Nassau before 2015.  Time will tell if this leads to an Islanders relocation to Brooklyn, or if its the kick in the butt to get Nassau to  renovate the arena.

Why would Ratner be willing to give Wang a Share of the Atlantic Yards Development?

The answer to that question is fairly simple, he needs more money to get the project completed.  Ratner has been trying to get the financing for the development, but he hasn't been able to get all the money he needs.  He has even asked the city for more money and got shot down.
If Forest City can't save money via modular construction, how do the numbers "pencil out"? After all, in March 2011, talk show host Brian Lehrer asked Rafael Cestero, outgoing Commissioner of the Department of Housing, Preservation, and Development (HPD), about the report that HPD had declined Forest City Ratner's recent request for an additional $10 million in additional subsidies--beyond the $14 million for 150 units--for the first residential building.

"One is, we have a set of programs that we use across the city... that fall within certain subsidy parameters that make sense for taxpayers and make sense for the city," Cestero responded. "We felt that the additional subsidy that Forest City was requesting... didn't meet those parameters and, frankly, that we felt was not a good public investment to go beyond what we have already committed."

"We want to see housing built there. We're all deeply committed to seeing not just the arena built, but to see... the affordable housing built," he added, "but we think the parameters that we've laid out, the program that we've laid out, allows that project to go forward."

This is where Charles Wang can come in on this project.  Wang can help Ratner finance the development and in return get back a pretty nice chunk of the profits from it.  Plus being part of one of the most desire sites for development left in Brooklyn and New York City can only help Wang in his future real estate adventures.  There are just too many potential positives for Wang not to look into being part of the Atlantic Yards and also too much money to be made.

A partnership between Wang and Ratner solves many of their current problems.  For Ratner it allows him to complete his vision for the site and make a nice return on it even after all the court cases and delays.  For Wang it gives his hockey team a state of the art home and the development around the arena that he always said he needed to run the team correctly.  Plus being part of the Atlantic Yards Development can only help him as he moves forward in his real estate  career

April 6, 2012

A New Rumor About Queens

Below is the new rumor going around the Islanders message boards.  If you ask me it seems like a long shot that its true, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't love it if it happened.  It just seems hard to believe with the Wilpons' money troubles and the fact that the Willets Point Development is still in battle with local groups.  So take this for what it is worth.
Anybody else getting this from their season ticket rep? According to my rep, negotiations have been ongoing for last 6 months or so and that we'll know "with finality" this summer where the Islanders will be playing for next 30 years. While rep did say he couldn't rule out the team being sold he was hearing rumors of Queens around the office. He didn't sound enthused that Brooklyn was the answer. For the love of Kvasha please let this be true.

On the other hand, how else will they get long suffering season-tix holders to re-up so maybe it's baloney

April 3, 2012

Barclays Center Confirms Hockey Layout

After talking to Barry Baum the head of public relations for the Barclays Center and Nets, he said that this will be the layout of arena.
The capacity of 14,500 doesn't change with this news and the potential benefits the Islanders could have with a smaller arena due to supply and demand doesn't change either.  However, this news does concern me because I have a hard time believing that the NHL will allow a team play in this layout long term.  This isn't the AHL, or a minor league where it is acceptable for a team to play in a horseshoe configuration,  and lose one end of the arena.  This is the NHL and even if Brooklyn makes sense financially, I cannot see them willingly allowing one of their teams to play in this layout without a promise for modification.  If Brooklyn really wants the Islanders they will have to be creative and find away to fit the rink where the layout isn't a horseshoe.

April 2, 2012

My First Post for Islanders University

Stan Fischler Talks About Brooklyn

In the New York Hockey Journal Stan Fischler talks about Brooklyn as an option for the Islanders.  Below is a piece of the article and a link to the entire piece.

The New York Islanders will play an exhibition game at Barclays Center, the new arena in Brooklyn, on Tuesday, Oct. 2.
So, what?
That, my fine feathered friends, is the question. Or, to put it another way, should a big deal be made about a game from which a win does not even produce two points in the standings?
And the answer is …
Truth be told, nobody really knows. And in this case, ignorance produces blissful speculation that often is so far off base it hardly merits discussion so let's examine the exhibition match for what it's worth:
* What Charles Wang wants: A former Newsday reporter, who has followed the Isles’ pursuit of a new arena, puts it this way: "No owner in the history of sports has been so badly treated by his home county and his surrounding town than Wang. Charles has spent a fortune to keep his team in Uniondale and has gotten no respect, no satisfaction, nothing in return from Long Island politicians."
The man is right and I speak firsthand, having covered the club's pursuit of a new facility for almost two decades. Over the years, Nassau County politicians merely talk about helping the Islanders while Kate Murray, who runs the Town of Hempstead, has deposited endless roadblocks in front of Wang's attempt to build a Lighthouse development, including a new arena, on her turf.
Without question, the Islanders owner wants his club to remain precisely where it is.
"I live on Long Island and I love Long Island," says Wang, with the utmost sincerity, and his words are precisely true. But there's just so much frustration that even a wealthy executive can tolerate and Wang has been doing a lot of tolerating for a long time. Too long.
Bottom line: If the City of Newark could generously fund what emerged as the magnificent Prudential Center for the Devils, Wang has reason to wonder why the County of Nassau -- with the help of New York State and, perhaps, private investors -- cannot do likewise for his Islanders.

April 1, 2012

Newsday's 5 Questions for the Isles Future

Newsday ran a piece called five questions about the Islanders future.  Below is their response about the Islanders' arena situation. 
5 And, finally, what's happening with the Islanders' arena situation?

There isn't anything new in Nassau County, but once the team reconvenes for training camp in September, lots will be happening elsewhere: The team will be preparing for a preseason game in Brooklyn's Barclays Center on Oct. 2, and shovels will be in the ground in Quebec City for a new arena. The Islanders' Coliseum lease is up in 2015.;JSESSIONID=EA7AE498F19710F426D7.3221?site=newsday&view=islanders_item&feed:a=newsday_5min&feed:c=islanders&feed:i=1.3635862
Still seems like it is Brooklyn vs. Quebec unless Nassau wakes up and makes one last bid to keep the Isles.