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Nassau County News
Islanders are moving to Brooklyn
Will leave Coliseum when lease ends in 2015
By Brian Croce and Andrew Hackmack
Brian Croce
The New York Islanders will begin playing in Brooklyn at the start of the 2015-16 season.

In three years, the New York Islanders will no longer be Nassau County's team. Islanders officials announced on Wednesday that they will be moving the team to the new Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn, when their lease at the aging Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale expires in 2015.

At an afternoon press conference at the Barclays Center, team owner Charles Wang announced that the team has signed a 25-year lease to play there, beginning with the 2015-16 hockey season. The arena is also the new home of the Brooklyn Nets.

“Hello, Brooklyn,” Wang said as he began his address in which he formally announced his team’s move.

“Our goal from the outset was to have the Islanders play in a local, world-class facility that presents the amenities that our fans deserve,” he said. “I’m happy to announce that we have achieved that goal with today’s announcement.”

Wang was joined by National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Barclays Center majority owner Bruce Ratner, Islanders General Manager Garth Snow and others.

The Islanders have threatened for years to move out of the Coliseum when their lease expires following the 2014-15 season if a new facility isn't built. Last year, Nassau County voters defeated a referendum that would have publicly financed a new arena. In the months following the referendum vote, Wang made it clear that he would explore all options with respect to the future of the Islanders, and ultimately partnered with his good friend, Ratner.


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It is a sad day to see the Islanders move the team to Brooklyn but we fans all saw this coming and can't blame them. Nor can we blame the residents of Nassau County. The only blame is on the TOH leader Kate Murray who had every chance to approve the Lighthouse Project, which would have developed the HUB with the private funds of the owners and other investors. With that opportunity blown, Ed Mangano tried to be the champion and salvage any chance of keeping the Islanders on the Island. The opportunity was squandered by placing the onus of responsibility on the taxpayers and then to compound matters, call for a special election in August, at taxpayer expense, when he could have used the Primary day in September to capitalize on the upcoming vote which already would be paid for for a set voter day. Now he claims his administration did the most to keep the Islanders. What was the HUB will now look like the old Roosevelt Raceway when it closed and grew weeds, when the Islanders leave in two years. Shame on you all for wasting an opportunity to not only keep the team, but create jobs, business and, oh yes, tax revenue to aid in the budget. I guess the next obvious step is to let the land go to a crony for an unbelievable fire sale price and call it a day. A no win scenario, a blown chance at creating a venue to draw fans, encourage class concerts, and hotel jobs as well as housing. PATHETIC but expected.

Why is Kate Murray re elected? She's a nice woman but. And Mangano should be a one term leader. Not just for the loss of the Islanders, but because he is not willing to seriously cut the jobs of cronies and create opportunities for jobs and housing. He can't think outside of his own box. The MTA will get new revenue on the LIRR to Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 | Report this

Well, we knew this was coming. The writing was on the wall a long time ago. Just the other day in the mail came another letter from Councilman Santino's office touting how he and Supervisor Murray are thrilled to announce that the TOH is in great standing with Moodys. At this point, I just don't care. Our downtown areas, not all, but many are suffering in any number of ways. There are less and less jobs. The taxes go up and yet our school districts are struggling to stay afloat. Oh, and the MTA announces (big surprise!) that they are raising fares yet again! How can an organization who cannot seem to run on budget due to reckless and irresponsible management get away with passing along their financial woes to their customers? It's over $300 to ride the LIRR from many stations and for mediocre service? Are you kidding me? Kate Murray is a nice enough woman but she needs to go. What we need from leadership on this island are people who are willing to work for the people. Who can think creatively and out of the box. Who can be honest about their shortcomings and allow someone else who can produce do just that. Oh, and to hire people for their qualifications and not because they distributed all your lawn signs. Mr. Mangano is now talking about creating a thriving business something or other once the Islanders are gone. Good Luck with that. None of the politicians could get the Lighthouse project off the ground when Mr. Wang was willing to pony up some serious cash. Now, you expect us to believe that you'll all be able to negotiate amongst yourselves from the ground up? Sure you will...in the meanwhile, I'm moving to Brooklyn...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 | Report this

Bring on the casino!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012 | Report this

Sorry, BUT... The taxpayers of Nassau County were going to bear the brunt of the cost. Mr. Wang and his supporters were only going to pay a percentage. With Nassau County taxes what they are, the citizens felt that we are way over taxed as it is and if a mega million $ sports franchise wants a new stadium, they can pay for it themselves.

A new stadium? What do the Islanders need? They need ICE and SEATS. The Coliseum provided both - in fact, they provided an extra 1,000 seats than does the Barclay Center. So for fewer seats in a bad neighborhood, I guess the Islanders got what they asked for and hope they enjoy it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012 | Report this
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