“I believe this day will go down in history as a first step and hopefully this is the catalyst that will get us going again.”-Charles Wang 5/31/2011.
Perhaps my earlier entry The New York Islanders Will Never Leave New York is simply not correct.
5/31 was not a good day for the future of this franchise.
For those wondering the legislature can still stop the 8/1 vote by July 17, which is fifteen days prior to the referendum and may well do that if financial plans are not there from Mangano/Wang or the legislature do not like what they read.
“It’s important that we take this step. Today’s vote is to make sure that the tax payers, the citizens, have the opportunity to decide. That’s all it is. There are a lot of details and we’re working through (them)… but by the middle of June, we’ll have all the details. This is what we’re working towards. Today is a great first day.” -Charles Wang
Today the Nassau legislature confirmed my earlier entries, that the New York Islanders are nothing more than political football depending on what party supports a Coliseum plan vs which one did not propose it.
I did not think seven members would be willing to risk killing a plan that may well decide Wang's future interest in owning this franchise even before step one.
I do believe this plan will ultimately be rejected, but Wang's hotel is going nowhere and that was really what I staked my belief on that the club would never leave, with the simple fact the Nassau Coliseum has to be replaced or repaired and someone eventually has to pay for it.
For a long time here I have been pushing the notion, no one entity or side wanted to be the one to say no and take blame whether it be Suozzi, Mangano, Wang, Murray, TOH.
Now the public can do that for everyone thanks to Ed Mangano.
An easy out to lose the team without getting blamed.
Maybe if this passes on 8/1 the legislature kills it anyway just to defeat Mangano/Republicans so it could go that way with one side getting blamed.
Obviously if this passes 8/1, the democratic legislature will challenge the legitimacy of the vote being done in August as a built-in excuse to reject it or the hundred foot wall called NIFA will kill it for sure.
Perhaps reading all the comments out of Atlanta about low attendance, poor fan support shook me a bit because I have never seen the NHL abandon a market in a modern facility this quickly. This was not Bettman's call (his BOG can only approve/reject a sale/relocation which they will approve to make relocation fees) because the NHL does not own the franchise (unlike Phoenix) but this does open the proverbial box which sets future trends.
I feel so horrible for those folks in Atlanta. ASG was not some individual who simply could not afford to operate a franchise, they simply only wanted to run the Atlanta Hawks, to relocate that team this quickly sets a horrible precedent.
As for the New York Islanders, a franchise near the bottom in attendance for twenty plus years, with no home media support, an owner approaching seventy, in the NHL's second oldest facility, who had every plan rejected to save the team who may finally have his plan rejected by the public themselves?
Sure the teams history should have made them bullet proof for the same reasons NYC never let the taxpayers decided any other teams future.
At that point it's more than fair for Charles Wang to say I've done all I can, the people have spoken and the support is simply not there for this franchise to have a future here.
Mangano made the Islanders future a public decision, so once he has his out why would he drag himself back in or force Wang to stay?
Sure the opposite can happen, Charles Wang digs in even harder, takes his Comcast/NBC/Winnipeg Relocation money and see if a new CBA brings him revenue sharing?
Still, Wang may come to realize why am I bothering if the public support is not there for my efforts and hundreds of million lost on a team I did not even follow when it was winning Stanley Cups?
I'm not entirely sure on Smg lease, Wang is on record he will honor it, but who knows if Mangano lets him out if this fails. Until I read otherwise this is also Scott Rechler's Smg lease to manage the Coliseum until 2015.
I know the LH Project gave Wang an immediate lease out if Nassau could not reach a lease agreement after TOH/Lighthouse approval, but that's not the current plan.
I want to believe my earlier entry a rejection will lead to the eventual compromise that will produce an arena agreement. I'm not sure I can after today because the legislature was ready to stop this before it even began.
Do these politicians care enough to even bothering looking ahead to seeing what the loss of this franchise means? I's obvious we would not be here today if they did.
Keep waiting, push vote back, let others bid on land. Same junk as late 90's, except Judy Jacobs is now on other side.
Today was just a terrible day. Hopefully Charles Wang sitting there had a good reason to be smiling that none of us know about.
Next entry for the first time is going to put the spotlight on our fans and the teams support, no punches will be pulled.
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