Islanders Moving to Brooklyn?
A major announcement is said to be coming from Brooklyn’s Barclay Center CEO, Bruce Ratner, this afternoon at 1pm. The buzz is that the New York Islanders will be moving to Brooklyn after 2015. The press conference is said to have the following high profile players set to appear: New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, Ratner, and the NHL Czar himself, Gary Bettman.
The Islanders have played at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum since their inaugural season in 1972 when the arena was brand new. But now, the Nassau Coliseum is old, tired, and drab. The Islanders have not been relative since the early 80’s when they had what some would consider the greatest dynasty in all of professional sport. The Islanders appeared in 5 straight Stanley Cup Finals and won 4 Cups in a row from 1980-1983. The team has a rich history of NHL hall of famers that include; Denis Potvin-D, Mike Bossy-RW, Billy Smith-G, and Bryan Trottier-C.
The owner of the Islanders, Charles Wang, has been trying like Hell to get Nassau County to agree to either a new arena or severe renovations to the old multi-facet venue. The problem has been that ownership does not want to fully privately fund it the project and Nassau County is bankrupt. It is also one of the highest taxed counties in the United States. The residents of Nassau County feel they are taxed enough and made their voices heard when on August 1, 2011, they rejected a proposal for a taxpayer-funded new arena to replace the Nassau Coliseum.
Anticipation is that the announcement will indeed deal with the Islanders long-term future. What remains in question is when and how? The Islanders are currently in a choking lease with SMG, Spectacor Management Group, and the Barclay Center is currently built for basketball’s, Brooklyn Nets. This will require construction and planning as the Barclay Center is said to be “awful” for hockey games. It could also be a just a move to put the forecheck on Nassau County to do something to keep their Islanders on Long Island.
Details to come.