Major Nassau Coliseum Update

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/14/2007 02:45:00 PM | | | |

So much for an off day. The news surrounding the Coliseum project is critical news to the teams future and must be covered here. Newsday sees it as such also with more coverage than any game or event this hockey season.

Greg Logan's article: Describes the renovation plans, has comment from Rick DiPietro about the project but asks Charles Wang what's the future of the Islanders if this plan is not approved.

"Everyone asks me that question," Wang said when asked recently if there is a point at which he would have to move or sell the team. "I've been here on Long Island for 55 years. I don't want to go anywhere else.

"Yes, there is a point. But the last thing I want is for anything to be construed as a threat. If I wanted to, I could have made threats a long time ago. We've got to get it done. Lou Lamoriello got it done in New Jersey, and Bruce Ratner is getting it done in Brooklyn. We've never been this close before."

"If we can't get this done, we've got big problems on Long Island," Wang said. "It's going to be the crown jewel."

Mark Herrmann : After thirty plus years and four championships still questions if Long Island can house a professional sports team and if it's worth spending the money on such a project given what Wang loses per year running the franchise? He also has a long history of the companies that used to operate and generate big money for the region. For some reason Herrmann brings Ranger fans into this discussion

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Mr Herrmann forget's without the tax exemptions MSG was given in the early 80's along with low cost electricity they still receive the Rangers would have moved to New Jersey and the Knicks to the Coliseum because the Garden was bleeding red ink and went throughout several ownerships and were not viable. I wonder if he would have written the same article about the Garden's viability in those days?

Business reporter Elizabeth Moore: Has comments on the presentation and more specifics with comments from gm Garth Snow and Bill Guerin.

Elizabeth Moore: Did a second article on some of the failed history and Al D'Amato's involvement and does an article on the developers and the community concerns here.

Daniel Wagner: Has an article on the history of bad deals regarding the concessions and lease that have created the problems over the years along with some construction details as to what a renovated Coliseum and the site would be comparable with.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Great plans, but the same old story.

The Republican machine that made problems for the Coliseum since the day it opened and gave Smg that lease along with some democrats see that land as their own for what they want and will never give it up to Charles Wang or Scott Rechler because they make no money from it. They prefer nothing ever be built than to surrender that land. I'm not sure what Wang will do with the club because he is bound by the lease until 2015 regardless but the Town of Hempstead, Smg are all about what's in it for them and perfer things stay as they are then forfeit their plans for that property which does not include the Coliseum or a hockey team.

You would hope the political climate that got the Devils, Mets, Yankees, Giants, Jets and Nets new homes would guarantee this project be approved but some Nassau County politicians have been fighting this forever and see it as their land for their personal business interests.

No doubt we will see negative reaction from the usual suspects soon enough.

Newsday: Greg Logan's blog update is on the Lighthouse project with more reaction from the players and coach Ted Nolan.

“A facility like Charles is attempting to build is fabulous,” said Nolan, who is in the second year of a three-year contract but hopes to remain with the Islanders and continue his efforts to revive the tradition of a four-time Stanley Cup franchise. “It’s something special for the fans here who went through good years and bad years and who see the team is starting to come back.

“I’ve seen videotapes and presentations of it. Even if it’s half of what I’ve seen on video, it’s going to be something spectacular.”


  1. I am strongly opposed to this project because of traffic concerns. As an East Meadow resident, this project from construction,to completion, to its' use will make driving around this project, horrendous!
    Present day traffic in the mornings & evenings when the Meadowbrook Pky is slow, backlashing commuters flood East Meadow from Hempstead TPK to Merrick Ave to the point that noise, pollution is now at a unacceptable level. In the mornings from about 7 to 10 AM, it is almost impossible to get out of my block! (Merrick Av & Spring St) If you have ever experienced the traffic around Roosevelt field around the Christmas Holidays, this is an example of how it will be around this Lighthouse development on a daily basis. Forget about it when there is an Islander game!!
    I love the Islanders & appreciate what Mr. Wang has done, but please don't give him Carte Blanche with MY neighborhood.
    We need just a new or rebuilt Coliseum, NOT a SMALL CITY !!
    Thank you for your time.

  2. Gary,

    I do not live near in Uniondale or around the Coliseum area. That said after all these years we have seen proposals to built a new coliseum by itself rejected for the same reasons. No doubt infrastructure improvements will be made to accomodate more traffic and hopefully the project will finally get the policians to put a rail link to the Coliseum in place so it's easier to get to games.

    If the politicians did their job a decade ago the Islanders would not be where they are today and these are the same people who let the Roosevelt Raceway sit vacant after it went out of business.

    I think we both know Wang's done all he can and Rechler did get his building and complex built right next to the Coliseum.

    Considering how long it took for someone to purchase this team from Milstein and this deal containing an out clause for Wang with the Islanders if it's not approved it's fair to say if this does not get done the Islanders will move because no one is going to want to walk into the same situtation with the same politics.

    And fact is the Nassau Coliseum is at a point where something has to be done because it's losing a lot of major events and is totally outdated.

    Easy for me to write just build in and it's not me who will sit in traffic but that's what I think.

    There are a lot of projects that increase traffic and make things tough, the Mets, Yankees, Newark, Giants Stadium and Atlantic Yards are all dealing with it.

    Why is Nassau County any different?

    Thanks for responding Gary.

  3. Thanks for your thoughts, but
    Nassau county is different because it is very congested right now, especially right where the Coliseum is! Newark is in a sort of urban renewal program, giving away tax incentives, MSG just remodels & reinvents itself right where it is, on top of Penn St. Shea is surrounded by highways (no people)Yankee stadium is where it is. both baseball stadiums will not increase the population around it , so the comparisons are not too valid.
    I wouldn't be too upset if the Isles moved to Suffolk county, hey, We're ALL Islanders!!

    I once wrote to the county about a LIRR route along the Meadowbrook Pky utilizing the line from Mineola, south to the Sunrise Hwy rail line. It was a detailed report with a proposal that would allow regular LIRR service with the Coliseum parking used the way Shea Stadium is used for commuters. The proposed rail line would use space along both sides of the MP & run overhead to a Coliseum station near the Marriot, then go south to link up to Merrick or Freeport.
    The letter was never answered by anyone from Nassau County. I'm even a Republican when it meant something in Nassau!
    I say, let them move to Suffolk & let Wang develop there!!

  4. Gary,

    Islanders have been on that site since 1972, Penn Station was torn down for Msg and a community built around it. Islanders move to Suffolk half the remaining fan base and the entire media would forget them for good. It's like asking the Rangers to move well inside New Jersey.

    Besides, if the Islanders left that area something will be built there that will increase traffic and cause the same problems. That's why it's called the most expensive land in the County.

    Someone is going to build on it. I cannot think of anyone who has earned that right more than Charles Wang. Wilpon wanted it and he's put nothing into that area.

    Thanks Gary.

  5. OK, you live in Queens, right? Suppose the owners of the Mets proposed to build a 'Lighthouse' type of thingee around the present site, including the old Worlds Fair site. (yes, I'm that old, grew up in the Bland houses area of Flushing!) Do you think the people around that site would experience more congestion on a day to day basis? You betcha! All I am saying is, there is no plan for traffic, they are just plopping this thing right there & putting in some sort of shuttle tram to Roosevelt Field!
    Oh, yeah, did they tell you that Hempstead Tpk was going underground from Hofstra to the Marriot so they can put more stuff above!! All I see is the negative, Wang & Rechler see dollar signs & the avg. Isles fan gets his new arena. We, in the surrounding area get more congestion & lower property values. I really don't know who will want to live in Uniondale, right smack in the middle of that mess, there are 2 developments at the old Roosevelt Raceway site. One is very pricey for over 55 people that is a bust & there are garden type apartments across the street that are overpriced & 3/4 vacant!!
    I hope Ms Murray of the town of Hempstead, does the right thing & does not let Mr. Wang destroy this place with the Lighthouse.
    Sorry for the rant, my friend.

  6. No rant Gary, fair points across the board and you wrote about the traffic being directed underground which I did not read about.

    Someday someone is going to build something there and the traffic is going to increase because the land is too valuable to let sit as a parking lot forever. That's why it's been fought over so hard for so long. Wilpon wanted the land too for the Mets.

    If someone is going to build on it eventually, I want it to be the New York Islanders because they have been there forever and in my estimation earned it more than someone who has invested nothing into that site. It would be like Wang trying to build an arena behind Shea and kick out Wilpon's Mets.

    Thanks again.

  7. You think anyone besides us are reading this??!!!! :)

  8. Gary,

    I'm not sure but a lot of folks are visiting the page and I have gotten a lot of e-mails. Either way it was nice talking with you.


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