Nassau Deputy Exec Rob Walker:
"The Islanders are ready to leave here tomorrow. They were being wooed by other areas last week."
-Nassau Coliseum press conference May 2011
Gary Bettman's Audio Comments 6/2 on teams future.
A lot of other markets want teams, the next time the Quebec fans come here it will not be for the Thrashers.
Sorry if the last entry was rough for a few folks, but this is the reality. We either show up and support this team in the stands now or there will no longer be a hockey team here.
Call the Islanders up, find a ticket plan and figure out a way to attend as many games as possible. There is no other alternative.
Forget Wang, Mangano, the arena referendum (of course vote if you can) the roster, winning or anything else. The stands have to be filled and remain filled.
This is beyond any owner now or in the future.
It cannot work here being at the bottom in attendance for one more season.
We can no longer base our attendance on waiting to win and then showing up, you have to give Nassau, Wang, or a potential new owner a reason to keep this franchise here because it can work and show the fan support is there.
It does not matter if the Coliseum is the second oldest or the newest. It does not matter if Charles Wang continues to own this franchise or not because he's approaching seventy years old. What happened in Atlanta can and will happen here and that was a modern facility that outdraws this franchise.
Atlanta was moved with practically no advance notice, they had a modern building but as soon as the ownership had enough, that was the end. Bettman could not stop it nor did the city of Atlanta demand ASG hang in to find a buyer. The league for now runs Phoenix and that city is paying the league 25m again to subsidize the losses.
This referendum gives Nassau an excuse-free out if not supported, Mangano may well allow Wang to terminate his lease. But even more importantly if 15,000 fans are not at every game, none of that is going to matter any longer.
Our fans have to show up for games now, there is no time left for anything else.
People at the games is what brings local interest or a buyer, an eventual compromise or plan to construct a new building come after that.
Nothing is more important if you value this franchise remaining here.
Sure we can go through the motions here and write about drafts, trades, free agency or a referendum, it means nothing ultimately if the club moves to another location outside New York.
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