Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New York Islanders and Nassau County to Announce New Arena Deal

Part 4 and 5 of the "Why the Islanders will make the Playoffs in 2012" will have to be put on hold for the moment.

This is the day that Islander fans have been waiting for for what seems like decades.

Today at an 11 AM press conference Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is inviting everyone under the sun to a press conference at Nassau Coliseum to announce plans to build a new 17,500 seat hockey, sports and entertainment arena for the New York Islanders on the site of the current Nassau Coliseum.

The press conference is open to the public.

Mangano will seek approximately 400 million for the project which includes 50 million dollars for a minor league baseball stadium on the Mitchell Field property.

August 1st 2011 will be the date the Nassau County residents can vote on whether to accept the deal or not.

Detractors will ask why should the county have to foot the bill when Charles Wang was ready to spend about four billion dollars to build the Lighthouse Project?

The answer is simple. Blame Kate Murray.

The tossed thousands of jobs and a much needed central project of Long Island away by rezoning the property in effect killing Charles Wang's legacy project.

The County will foot the bill, but the cost of the project would be offset by a revenue sharing plan that will pay for the cost of the project over the Islanders new 30 year lease to play in the new arena.

They are projecting the project to start in the Spring of 2012, with completion for the 2014-15 season.

The major hurdle right now is the voters have to vote yes on the referendum for the arena but once the economics behind how good a new arena will be for the area the vote should be a relatively easy one to pass.

The Nassau Coliseum is a venue that is becoming a difficult one to draw high end acts to.

A brand spanking new arena would change all of that.

It would change the perception that the Islanders are waiting to run from Long Island with the current lease expires in 2015.

The Islanders would instantly become relevant to free agents around the NHL and to its current players to stay here and build a winner.

With the Islanders current crop of young players lays the foundation. An arena deal in hand makes the team instantly credible.

Its a bright day for hockey fans all over New York. Ranger and Devil fans included. Rivalries are what make sports. With all three metro area teams on strong footing and with state of the art facilities makes the rivalries all that much better and could be a centerpiece for the NHL to build its northeastern coverage around.

Throw in strong franchises in nearby Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and you have an American hockey hotbed.

Let's vote it in August 1st and get this project done.

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