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Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

Posted on: August 2, 2011 3:28 pm
 

By Brian Stubits

The morning after the Islanders' arena hopes were shot down by the voters of Long Island, life goes on. And it hasn't taken long for the possibilities for the future of the franchise to take shape.

If the team isn't able to secure a home in Uniondale for 2016 and beyond, the team will find a new home and the first place that comes to mind is Brooklyn. I discussed that option a bit yesterday, noting the viability of moving the team just a little ways west.

But that might not be as sure shot as it appeared on first glance. Yes, there will be a fancy new arena that will host the Nets, and yes it will have ice rink capabilities. However, the problem lies in the amount of seats it could fit for hockey. The capacity of the arena for basketball is listed at 18,000, but to make the arena work for hockey, it would have to be cut to 14,000-15,000. That would make it the smallest arena in the NHL, smaller than Winnipeg's MTS Centre.

It would be a very tough sell, but not an impossible one. If it came down to the only viable option to remain in the New York area, you'd have to think Gary Bettman would be able to swallow the pill a little easier. He doesn't want to uproot teams -- see Phoenix -- and especially wouldn't be exicted about taking a team from a market like New York. That's if the Nets and Barclays Center would consent to the Isles sharing the joint.

"We will continue to work closely with the Islanders to explore whatever options still may be available in light of what obviously is not a positive department," Bettman said in a statement to Islanders Point Blank. "Our goal is for the team to remain on Long Island and we still hope that objective can be realized."

On the ownership side, it sure shounds like you can cross Russian tycoon and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov out of the mix. He has made it known that he isn't interested in buying any other sports teams right now. Now that isn't a big hurdle, Wang could hold onto the team himself or find some other owner from the area. In New York, that's not a terribly tough task.

At this point, Wang and the Islanders aren't talking about the future home of the team, just its future on the ice. But behind the scenes, they have to be thinking about their next move. If they are going to stay in the area, which still seems the most likely to happen, they need to start the process now. Arenas don't just go up over night.

As for the land where the arena currently sits? Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is moving on to Plan B, asking for proposals for people interested in the land. That doesn't include or exclude the arena sticking around.

"We're looking for a vision on what we have and what will become available in 2015," Mangano was quoted as saying by Newsday.

While it is still way too early to say what will happen to the Islanders and the land, it's certainly cloudier today than it was this time a week ago.

Photo: otrbasketball.com

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Comments
kkjyywlpo
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 3:34 am
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Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: August 5, 2011 1:22 pm
 

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

KC couldnt get more than 3,000 fans into a preseason NHL game there where they gave away tickets for FREE. That is not a good market for hockey.



Since: Jan 14, 2008
Posted on: August 4, 2011 3:35 pm
 

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

Kansas City, you hit the nail on the head.  They have a brand new arena and are dieing to have a hockey team. 



Since: Aug 4, 2011
Posted on: August 4, 2011 11:27 am
 

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

How does a dude with a Senator's Logo as his pic comment on the Isles Ownership situation?

Does the name Spano mean anything to you?  The Gang of Four? Milstein's & Gluckstern (not the Law Firm)?

I've been an Islander Fan since I was a Kid and know better than most the bad times of the last 20+ years...

The Isles were going down hill long before Wang took over.

But - The Isles won 4 Stanley Cups in their first 10 - 12 seasons...

When was the last time the Cup called Ottawa home?  1927?

 



Since: Dec 22, 2006
Posted on: August 4, 2011 1:02 am
 

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

....or they could consider moving to HARTFORD, which isn't too far away either.



Since: May 12, 2011
Posted on: August 4, 2011 12:03 am
 

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

If the NHL is really into bringing back worthless hockey teams, I want my Whalers back!!!



Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: August 3, 2011 10:35 pm
 

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

They're not going to Quebec. Christ, the Canadian sense of entitlement with the NHL is mind-blowing, and it's only been made worse by the Winnipeg relocation. Quebec has no arena and is probably the one city in North America with a more corrupt and less productive city government than Nassau County.  If you think the NHL: is going to pull a franchise out of an area with a population exceeding 2 million that borders on a city of another 8 million, and that has one of the most lucrative cable deals in the league through 2030, then I'd like to have some of what you're smoking.

In the past 48 hours alone both the Brooklyn and Queens city governments have made overtures to the Islanders, in addition Wang took out a full page ad in Newsday restating his commitment to Long Island. This team is not leaving the NY Metro area especially not under Gary Bettman's watch.

You'll have to look to revive that joke of a franchise that wore the fleur de lis for 20 years somewhere else. Maybe the Coyotes? I hear they'll soon be free agents.



Since: Sep 1, 2008
Posted on: August 3, 2011 6:25 pm
 

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

The Islanders' biggest problem is that it's owned by Wang; the franchise has been going backwards ever since he took over. For the franchise to become successful again the first thing that needs to happen is for Wang to sell his interest to a group that really cares about hockey. Then relocate to Quebec City.



Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: August 3, 2011 6:07 pm
 

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

I see a couple of issues with Brian Stubits' column.
[Bettman] doesn't want to uproot teams -- see Phoenix -- and especially wouldn't be exicted about taking a team from a market like New York.
Would moving the Islanders out of the NYC market really be a big loss?  In the last decade, the average attendance hasn't been above 14,390 in a building seating 16,250.  Since the lockout season, the Isles haven't placed outside the bottom three in average attendance and almost fell below 11,000 per game last season.  Would the Islanders leaving a market that isn't supporting them really be a loss for the NHL?  Last time I checked, the Rangers have the higher profile league-wide and they're not going anywhere-- in fact, MSG is getting an $850 million makeover that will bring the building up to date with the rest of the NHL.
Wang could hold onto the team himself or find some other owner from the area. In New York, that's not a terribly tough task.
Really?  How many people are interested in purchasing a team that's lost over $280 million in the last decade and continues to play in one of the worst arenas in pro sports?  The locals have just shot down financial support for the construction of a new arena and the team is stuck at the Nassau Coliseum until 2015.  If (and that's a mighty big if) Gary Bettman doesn't want to lose a team in the NY market, as Stubits has suggested, why hasn't the NHL stepped up to help finance the renovation or construction projects?  Surely it's in the best interest of Bettman and the NHL to see that all teams are playing in modern arenas and maintaining profitability for the long term.  I'd be willing to wager the farm that if Charles Wang put the team up for sale tomorrow and refused to sell to anyone planning to relocate the Isles, his phone wouldn't be ringing off the hook.  (I can actually hear the crickets chirping now...)
As for the land where the arena currently sits? Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is moving on to Plan B, asking for proposals for people interested in the land. That doesn't include or exclude the arena sticking around.
It sure sounds like Nassau County is planning for the departure of the Isles.  You can't find people who want to develop land anywhere on the Eastern Seaboard who would wait until 2015 when the team might leave the Coliseum for greener pastures.  Wang has the money and nobody has questioned this.  It's the will of the local population that can't be overcome for any massive development project within sight of the Nassau Coliseum.  County Executive Mangano is tilting at windmills if he thinks he can get a new project off the ground without the support of the locals.



Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

Can some of you people just do a little internet research before you get on your pedestal and spout off. The Islanders have an iron clad lease with the Coliseum until 2015. It would cost Wang several hundred thousand dollars in legal fees and penalties to break the lease. It ain't happening. Also, Wang was fully financing his "Lighthouse Project". No money from the tax payers. The T.O.H. turned him down. Spread the word. For all the whiners complaining about about their taxes going up, guess what? Your taxes are still going to go up anyway even without a new arena. Do you know where you live? Nassau County! The highest taxed county in the USA. What was accomplished by rejecting the new arena? Absolutely nothing. This new arena wasn't just for the Islanders, but for other events that come to the NY area. Major musical acts that come to NY play the MSG, Prudential Center, but not the Coliseum. You ever wonder why? It's a friggin dump! This new arena wasn't just about the Islanders, but a better quality of life. I hope they can schedule more Disney on Ice and Josh Groban concerts to keep the Coliseum afloat after 2015...


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