9/10/13

New York Practice At Barclay's Center 9/12-Full Media Event

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/10/2013 06:22:00 PM

Islanders website: Announced Islanders To Hold Training Camp Sessions At Barclays Center On September 12

The New York Islanders will take the Long Island Rail Road to Brooklyn where they will hold training camp sessions at their future home, Barclays Center, on Thursday, September 12.





IslandersTV and www.barclayscenter.com will stream a live show of the first training camp sessions at Barclays Center beginning at 11:45 a.m.

Schedule for Media Day on September 12, 2013: 8:15 a.m.: Press Conference at Garden City Station with LIRR representatives and Islanders General Manager Garth Snow and Islanders players Matt Martin and Frans Nielsen

8:51 a.m.: Train carrying Islanders and media leaves Garden City station

9:35 a.m.: Team arrival, photo-op outside of the arena

9:40 a.m.: Team photo-op outside arena on Daily News Plaza

10 a.m. – 11 a.m.: Bruce Ratner and Brett Yormark to lead media on a tour of hockey set-up at Barclays Center

10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.: Group A on ice.

11:45 a.m. – Live stream of practice begins on IslandersTV and www.barclayscenter.com.

12 p.m.: Lunch is available in the Honda Club

12 p.m. – 1 p.m.: Group B on ice

1:20 p.m. – 1:40 p.m.: Charles Wang, Garth Snow, Jack Capuano available for questions in the Ortsbo Interview Room

The Islanders will host the New Jersey Devils in a preseason game at Barclays Center on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The game will be broadcast on WHRU 88.7 FM Radio Hofstra University.

9/9/13

New York Names John Tavares Captain/Wang Speaks Later

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/09/2013 06:20:00 PM
ITV has the entire six minutes press conference, also individual interviews with Tavares, Snow.

Charles Wang was present, but did not speak at press conference. He made up for it with a full interview in Cablevision's Newspaper where he makes clear he's happy owning club, it's direction on ice, has no interest in selling, and laughed at the notion of breaking Barclay's lease to return to Coliseum permanently beyond 4-6 games.

More Nassau approvals for NEC Ratner Coliseum on 9/10, legislature debate or possible vote 9/23 with simple majority required for passage (which Republicans have) then if approved NIFA is final hurdle before the Coliseum renovation issue ends for the next forty nine years.


D Kevan Abrahams still wants to retain the Islanders at the Coliseum, same song/dance he's done for a generation with no support of any plan to make it happen.

9/9 Long Island Press & Nonprofit Fair Media Council. Executive Director Jaci Clement, blasted Cablevsion/Newsday & News12 LI for it's failure to report political contributions to Tom Suozzi, vs others, included were charges of selective coverage of Coliseum/RFP, among many items.

Nothing to add here on Tavares becoming captain. It was a foregone conclusion with Mark Streit's departure. Worst kept secret, joining a fraternity of legendary players that includes Westfall, Gillies, Potvin, Sutter. Along with Flatley, Peca, Yashin, Guerin, Weight, Streit, among others.

New York will play it's first preseason game on Sept 17th.





9/7/13

Anything Can Happen, But Expect New York To Take Step Back Out Of Playoffs

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/07/2013 08:06:00 PM
"The season was very positive for the team. It was short but dynamic," he said. "We fulfilled one of our tasks: We made it to the playoffs. The Islanders took a great step forward. However, now we are facing greater challenges, and it will be much more difficult to take the next step. We will have to make the playoffs again, but the tasks will be very different this time. I think that this season will be much more difficult for us than the previous one."  -Evgeni Nabokov 8.28.2013

Anything can happen, however some harsh reality cannot be ignored. This was a sub-five hundred club in late March 2013 that finally learned out to play in the third period, that also started getting some balanced scoring. The result was 11-1-2/playoff spot they would not have qualified for with Detroit/Columbus in their conference as they are now.

No one's replacing Mark Streit's ability to carry the puck, or set up an offense, players like that are a dwindling talent in the NHL, one the New York Islanders will miss badly with the percentage of scoring he provided. 


The trend most will not remember, but is really the biggest positive to build on would be the forty games in 2013 New York Islanders were tied or leading entering the third period.  In some of the other eight games this team came back to earn points so the notion they did not compete better than most franchises stands out.

Also all this club had to do was be moderately successful at home last year to be in the top five, they were a terrible home team playing it's best games on the road, not a long term formula for success to build on at all or a good trend.

Trends however are fleeting, just as Matt Donovan's huge plus rating on a Bridgeport team, that could not keep the puck out of it's own net last year. Some times they make sense, others no.

I write virtually every year the New York Islanders can finish anywhere from 1st or 2nd to 14th or 15th depending on variables, that's true entering 2013-14. Some players are going to take a step up, others will take one back.

Sure a prospect can step in, and be a big success, it's overdue, and they have many of them from Nelson, Strome, Persson, Sundstrom, Kabanov for openers up front.

Matt Moulson Watch:
Moulson's agent, at some point will get his offer from the Islanders about resigning. If not taken, we know what the organization's trend is which means he's traded if club out of contention or retained if the club has a chance with no return, then gone come 7/1/14. 

The organization also decided Matt Moulson was not fast enough to skate on Tavares line come playoffs for the first time, perhaps he was hurt, but that bears watching.

Andrew MacDonald Watch:
Same can be written about Andrew MacDonald, even more so given depth waiting for contracts/job.


If Club Competitive:
If Nabokov can be as steady as he was during forty eight games, someone replaces Streit/Boyes production, there is balanced scoring, and the defenders create enough offense, plus the team continues to close out games (getting them to overtime/not losing in regulation) they will likely qualify (or be at top of division) unless the injuries catch up with them.

If Club Not Competitive:
We have seen this act before. Expect Nabokov gone by December/Jan with Visnovsky going to a team on his list faster than you can write Roloson/Wisnieswki with a ton of  defensive prospects to be signed by next summer. No one knows Capuano's contract status, but if  resigned this summer, he likely here for the season.

Projection: 
Anything Can Happen, But Expect New York To Take Step Back Out Of Playoffs in 2013-14. 
The loss of Streit, the more extra teams (one corporate) to compete for  playoff spots in a far tougher format, and no real top line alternative next to Tavares likely means the late 11-1-2 stretch that took the club from another lottery to a playoff spot (one that should have been much higher) was more just a great run that is not sustainable.

Especially with a team that did most of it's winning on the road. 

Garth Snow will face pressure like he's never faced before. 

What's needed is a Mariusz Czerkawski that got his twenty five goals with little help, that buys Tavares room to work. 

Teams are going to be all over Tavares with no Streit/no real secondary scorer or play-maker to watch like never before, with that " C " being just another reason to target him as Streit was with Matt Carkner or Steve Staios. 

I expect the Hickey/Strait defense to be a little of the best/worst of both.  The Joe Finley story is not over, but a lot of prospects on defense will challenge.  

Matt Martin/third fourth liners have to produce/challenge for more time/higher lines.  Waiting on Peter Regin (0 goals), or Pierre-Marc Bouchard (8 goals), Cal Clutterbuck/Kyle Okposo (4 goals) to produce could be fatal as someone sits for Mr Boulton to have his fight by appointment.





9/5/13

New York Rookie Camp Roster Announced

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/05/2013 04:17:00 PM
Bridgeport Sound Tigers website: The New York Islanders have announced the roster for their 2013 Rookie Camp, beginning today at Nassau Coliseum. The 31-player roster is comprised of 13 forwards, 15 defensemen, and three goaltenders. Of those players, 21 are Islanders draft picks

Note-The Sound Tigers website has not been changed for 2013-14 at this time. Also the black 3rd jersey's were officially retired after being used to honor the Sandy Hook victims.

Forwards

Clark, Jason                                
Crus Rydberg, Victor                   

Diamond, Joe                                 
Halmo, Mike                                  
Kabanov, Kirill                             
Lee, Anders                                   

Miller, Greg                                            
Nelson, Brock                               
Persson, John                               
Quine, Alan                                   
Strome, Ryan                                
Sundstrom, Johan                        

Wetmore, Riley                               


Defensemen

Burroughs, Kyle                           
Cantin, Marc                                
Dalhuisen, Mike                                    
de Haan, Calvin                          

Donovan, Matt                              

Graham, Jesse                             
Jackson, Dallas                             
Keenan, Mike                                
Leduc, Loic                                   

Mayfield, Scott                            
Ness, Aaron                                 

Pedan, Andrey                            
Pelech, Adam                            
Pulock, Ryan                               

Reinhart, Griffin                        


Goaltenders

Milner, Parker                             
Nilsson, Anders                         
Reiter, Ken                                 


9/3/13

Bad Marketing 101: Brett Yormark/Brooklyn Strategy

New York Islander Fan Central | 9/03/2013 03:46:00 PM
The New York Islanders change their website look every year around this time, the most notable thing for me is you can immediately chat with a live sales representative on site.

Our fans better purchase tickets whether it be the Coliseum or Barclay's Center. 

Is Brett Yormark, brother of Florida Panthers President, Michael Yormark that misguided or is his employer demanding these marketing decisions for the Brooklyn Nets now (New York Islanders moving forward) or does someone not want him to make the most revenue he can for his employer?

Mr Yormark was hired in 2005 by the Nets. In 2012 he discussed how he marketed the team while it remained in New Jersey.
Just two years ago, Yormark was arguing with spectators at the Izod Center to take bags off their heads (pictured above). He was coming up with shameful ways to get people to the arena, giving away reversible jerseys with the opposing team on the one side, and offering free tax returns to anybody purchasing a Nets ticket. Yormark was marketing the unmarketable -- a lameduck, terrible team.

“I needed that moment. It kind of crystallized things for me. Also, I used that moment to reflect. And I reflected on some of those challenges moments in Jersey, some of the phone calls with Bruce (Ratner) where we knew we had a daunting task in front of us. “But we found a will and a way.”

There is a David Seldin feel to this when he came to the Islanders to work for Howard Milstein from the Jacksonville Jaguars long ago. 

The Barclay's Center in year one was a success because it was brand new. It did not sell all those event tickets because every act/concert/whatever wore black and re-branded themselves Brooklyn, and the same goes for the Nets. 

The Nets since leaving the Nassau Coliseum have been called everything whether it be New York/New Jersey or simply Nets, wearing practically every color scheme, including some black.

The Nets have had attendance years to rival the Islanders, even with the demographics/coverage for basketball far easier than hockey, still they had crowds around 10,000 at Prudential Center. 

Who moves a basketball team into the New York City market, then makes tens of millions of potential customers in Manhattan/other boroughs/tri state area feel like they are not your team unless the idea is alienate possible customers?


Great Marketing 101 in June 2010.

Did the Mets decided to call themselves Queens when they temporarily opened up shop at the Polo Grounds, then move to Shea Stadium in 1964, and market themselves as Queens team? Of course not.

Did the New York Highlanders between name changes to Yankees, or moves to the Polo Grounds/South Bronx who shared the Polo Grounds with the baseball NY Giants decide to name themselves Bronx? Ridiculous. 

The New Jersey Devils got it right, and never saw the need to call themselves Newark or East Rutherford.

The New York Red Bull also refuse to acknowledge their home state, which financed their new stadium.

The WNBA Liberty changed their name to Fox woods Casino during last season, but changed back in 2013, as they play at Prudential Center.

It would be an easy generational sell here to write the Brooklyn Dodgers moved because of branding, however that would be untrue for many reasons. Baseball's New York Giants also moved. 

There are two football teams in New Jersey that refuse to acknowledge the state they play home games in since 1976/1984, along with an entire league, and it's media including an upcoming Superbowl. Guess why?

Even the re-re-re-re restored decades later New York Cosmos saw the value was in it's name/history, as they currently play at Hofstra. Nassau County of all places has not messed that up yet.

In two years (perhaps one) the New York Islanders will re-locate, and at the very least play all but four regular season home games at the Barclay's Center at a point any buzz about a new facility or a new team will be long gone.  

Charles Wang said the colors/logo will not change while he remains owner, and is not selling. Whether you agree or not make no mistake you don't gain more customers because you confine your brand to one borough.

This is how you lose customers, restrict business, generate less revenue. New York City/Tri State Area is New York Islander County, that logo/tradition is special like no other US based hockey franchise.

The Nets never had that to market themselves.  

That is how Mr Yormark/his employer should be marketing this team all over New York City, Long Island, and the entire Tri State Area. The Nets owner started great putting his billboard up (above) outside Msg as New York's team. What happened since the club relocated has reflected the exact opposite.

Bad Marketing 101. 

Unlike the Nets past our teams fans have historically packed Msg, and filled the Meadowlands, with it's New York fan base. Enough video/articles have been posted to support this, and as Mr Wang said in 2011 (pre referendum) & 2012 forty percent of his season ticket base came from inside NYC limits in WFAN audio interviews posted here.

Mr Yormark included a comment one month before Islanders announcement that should be see as a cautionary tale for our fan-base in the above article.

 “I think the moment’s even bigger than I expected,” says Yormark.” I think this is so big that many of us won’t have a moment like this again.”

The New York Islanders will require such a moment. 

8/30/13

Coliseum Update-More Approvals/Sept 9th Legislature Debate Begins

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/30/2013 06:23:00 PM
More Nassau County unanimous advisory board approvals for Bruce Ratner's lease on 8/30/13, which is thirty four years, with three five year options to renew which extend it to forty nine. 

Legislature expected to begin debate Sept 9th on approval, which is where we find out of if this agreement really stands. Kate Murray supported the agreement, not sure if TOH approval is required. NIFA is expected to approve.

NEC/Ratner only allowed to build on twelve acre's around Coliseum footprint in images presented here. Site is seventy seven acres with renaming rights belonging to Master Developer Don Monti.

County asking State for funds to construction parking garage.

Ratner get's to remove the asbestos during Coliseum renovation. 

Sound Tigers President, Howard Saffan, said another million of Charles Wang's money will be invested in Webster Bank Arena on new lighting for the facility he operates.

NYIFC Comments:
I asked earlier this summer who's deciding this in July with no real answer. Mangano's business advisory board only listed nine of seventeen names who unanimously approved Ratner bid, the only one in the past Coliseum process was Kevin Law.

I guess that's why the Msg factor never came into play into with simply not offering as much as NEC/Ratner, those people are not running for office aside from Mangano. 

We'll see what the legislature decides, Mangano needs a simple majority of Republicans which he has, can it get done before he's perhaps out/Suozzi back in? 

As for the Coliseum again NEC/Ratner is only spending eighty nine million to renovate the Coliseum.

This is no Wang-Rechler Lighthouse Coliseum renovation plan where the ice is dropped five feet for a ring of luxury boxes in the center, and the corridors expanded to increase capacity, too costly so forget any notion of the Islanders ever returning after 2015.

That kind of renovation required revenue come in from all seventy seven acres to pay for it.

AHL/Notabes
Prospect blog was updated with the departure of Ty Wishart to Europe. Jordan Hill/Nathan McIver are the remaining free agents (not counting Shane Harper/Rick DiPietro) who's status still TBD.

D Mathieu Gagnon traded to Isles ECHL affiliate in Stockton will attend Isles training camp in Sept. What's notable here was he played for the Fort Wayne last year, which was where the Islanders sent players in 2012-13.

Nothing negative to write about Brenden Kichton signing, he went back into the draft, and like everyone was selected later. 
Jared Spurgeon-Huge miss by Snow organization regrets.
Jack Hillen-Became an NHL defender.
Blake Kessel-Dropped by former team.




8/26/13

NHL.com Does Surprisingly Solid Job on New York Preview

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/26/2013 06:41:00 AM
Some direct quotes from management, players make for an entry worth posting here.

NHL.com Brian Compton's preview on the New York Islanders has comments from GM Garth Snow, Head Coach Jack Capuano, John Tavares among others.

Josh Bailey had a lot of interesting things to say.

Mr Compton's second article did a good job with Capuano explaining how spots will be won in camp or jobs decided among veterans.

NYIFC Comments:
Both articles by Mr Compton reasonably well done but did not include the constant man games lost to injury like no other NHL franchise that has decimated this franchise over many years which was a big part of the story of this team's struggles. 

Perhaps I missed it, the name Matt Donovan should have been more prominent in terms of making the club. 

Garth Snow discussing why he decided to buyout Rick DiPietro, and John Tavares on why he thought they had Pittsburgh on the ropes, before some inexperienced surfaced made for very good reading.

I'm sure someone will surface from SI/Sporting News/Espn/Wall Street Journal/Time to do another Milbury-era article because that's the last time some of them had budget to cover the team with any regularity. Espn fell off the map for the Islanders with Al Morganti's departure, Marc Berman at the Post knew the Isles top to bottom when he had the full time NY Post beat.

That era's long gone, media outlets refuse to spend money on hockey.

8/25/13

New York Islander Fan Central Will Remain On-Line For 2013-14

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/25/2013 10:35:00 AM
The decision has been made to continue making New York Islander Fan Central viewable for it's readers through 10/10/2014, along with the prospect blog. 


As I wrote a year ago before a lockout was announced, I have little new to offer, the subject matter of games, sticks, and pucks boring.  



The archives go back to 2007 here, pre-Wang on Islanders-Sound Tigers mailing list to the 1999-2000 season. Even the goodbye was written in April 2009.

The names change, coaches on the roster, the ups/downs of a season do not.  How many times does someone have to write a game is a " BIG GAME/MUST WIN " over eighty two of them?

The Coliseum/Brooklyn story has been mostly written.  Regardless where that all goes (even with Wang selling the team/moving out of state or outright folding the franchise) it's all been done here.

I'm also tired of writing about the Dolan's/Msg (pick a topic/made this promise before) or other NHL teams taxpayer money giving them advantages (front-loading) this team will likely never have in an NHL that is not the one I grew up loving as it becomes more & more Metro divisioned heading toward hundred million dollar payrolls in a few years.

The promise of being done writing about those topics will be kept this time. All you have to do is check the archives for what I think.
 
I'm also tired of writing about Charles Wang's outstanding stewardship of this franchise under horrible circumstances, the club has a website, and it's own outlet to give the public information on such matters if they wish. 

There are a few life times of updates here on virtually all of this for everyone to re-read many times.

I always promise little, and do far more, expect nothing beyond this entry, the days of game updates are long gone here, along with daily articles from professional newspapers which for this franchise is extinct. 

Stanley Cup, 30th overall? What's new that I have not already written in the past. Either could happen. 

The New York Islanders no longer have independent full-time professional print media, some folks will read anything & see it as professional media............Just a bunch of amateur fans selling themselves above all.


Tired of writing about that also, I've done my part, now it's up to you.

Are You Cutting Back Because Of The Club Relocating To Brooklyn Or Out Of Market Entirely?
Given I have written every year the New York Islanders are as much New York City (a lot more than the New Jersey football teams calling themselves New York) as the Yankees,  it could be 1982, and things are still being done this way. The archives usually have exact the same words every year. 

On ice/Off ice never influenced anything decided about New York Islander Fan Central. Never will.

What Will I Write About Or Do Here?
For now I wish to just watch games, do less whatever amount of twitter entries. The work put into the page (and the prospect blog) makes it worth it for me to leave New York Islander Fan Central here just so I can look at old images or update the prospect blog. 

Most fun I had in years was writing about Bridgeport's 2012-13 season.  That's going to become a big story very soon perhaps worth a few more words. 

New York Islander Fan Central Page:
I'm not sure about re-posting the audio's currently listed on sidebar, it's a lot of work. I'm aware the header needs the 2013-14 players included, this has never been a shrine strictly to the 1970's-80's but given last season's lockout, nothing else could be done with the header.

The classic look of the New York Islander Fan Central header will always remain. 

Thrilled with the redesigned layout of the page, have been for over a year now when it was done. No changes will be made.

Advertising/Link Exchanges Here?
AS I HAVE WRITTEN COUNTLESS TIMES, NO ADVERTISING.  THANK YOU, HOWEVER NO LINK EXCHANGES, ADS OR CHECKS...........NON PROFIT.

New York Islander Fan Central Wordpress:
The free Wordpress no frills generic page for this site created a year ago is mostly for folks who have I.E problems. This is the home page for New York Islander Fan Central. 

That page will have the roughest/unedited cuts of any entries written, with all updates to the final version only here.

What's Next?
We'll see moving forward, and you can too until October 2014.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH....

8/20/13

Why New York Islanders Are Really Moving to NYC? Worst Fan Support Since 1989 Broke Government/Public Trust

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/20/2013 07:56:00 PM
The headline says it all.

I did a few of these entries blaming the poor attendance on the our fans, implored folks here to show up and purchase tickets which forces politicians to spend taxpayer money which retains a team or faces political suicide if a team relocates because of their inaction.

Ed Mangano/Kate Murray got a share of harsh criticism from Islander fans, but not nearly enough to force them to act in the public trust's best interest by retaining the local team. In most other places the doors get locked, a deal get's done.
 
That's what happened virtually everywhere else (even bankrupt Detroit) not here.The Wings were playing in front of flies auctioning off cars when Joe Louis Arena was opened during the Islanders championship era.

Pittsburgh in front of their 10,000 fans with an Smg lease like Islanders rallied hard forcing a new arena to be built. Former Governor, Ed Rendell, faced the spotlight non-stop while NYS officials could have cared less.

Wang Can't Close Deals/Impossible To Work With?
Say what you want about Charles Wang's management ability, however he did manage to do a deal at Webster Bank Arena to operate a facility he keeps renovating without a referendum, he did the 2009 sublease with Smg, he ended all the 1990's litigation/contention with that company upon become owner, plus he did his lease with Bruce Ratner so the notion he's impossible to work with does not reflect the record.

Plus he renovated the Nassau Coliseum himself out of pocket many times. How many Lighthouse tournaments did he pay to host kids from all over the world to no fanfare? Dolan get's the taxpayer exemption for the Cablevision Garden, the Nassau Coliseum hosts the NYPD VS NYFD hockey games?

Charles Wang was under no pressure to bail out the Boe family for another bankruptcy in Bridgeport, and take over the Sound Tigers, the Isles had no primary home AHL affiliate for years before Wang.

Before Charles Wang how many Master developers or bids surfaced at the HUB? Zero.

How many interviews did Wang give where he said it's not a democratic or republican project? How many times did he just say tell me what you don't like about the project?

Also Scott Rechler is a highly successful billion dollar real estate developer, what did you think he was doing with Charles Wang because he was not in this to renovate the Nassau Coliseum?

Wang/Rechler after spending his share of 20m dollars on losses after the Lighthouse plus doing over 200 meetings with public was still willing to agree to a referendum where he did not get the yearly taxpayer money Phoenix or Msg receives every year. He did not get the deal James Vanderbeek did from New Jersey where public money/revenue from arena secured the Devils relocation. Wang took a rent/revenue split with no taxpayer money coming yearly.

Then Charles Wang went on television or gave an interview virtually every day somewhere asking the public to vote for the referendum for two months.

Neulion was his families creation which the NHL, (now Barclay's) many sports leagues use, along with negotiations costing 140m for Olympic rights. Here there was nothing but apathy (before Wang) beyond his spending (with Rechler on LH) or on the many players he continues to sign, who seem to like being part of his organization once they come here.

Seems Mr Wang has no problem closing deals outside of Nassau County/TOH. Neither does Scott Rechler if you noticed where his Lighthouse money was spent since 2010.

The Problem:
No teams fans stayed away longer than New York Islander fans. Not Atlanta, Florida. 

That broke the public trust. The past did not secure the future.

Nassau County/TOH had a very easy time breaking the public trust with the team, the fans helped make it that way for a long time to where the team itself became a non-factor combined with it's primary print/television coverage owned by another NHL franchise with a vested financial interest in seeing them leave NY entirely to get back their television contract money.

It's a factor in the attendance/interest.  Teams need these things to grow interest, and this team has less print media now than in 1972 by a mile.

Tom Gulotta mocked the Islanders record in the 90's as he defended Smg, he wanted no part of Howard Milsten's plan for a new arena. Tom Suozzi beyond 2002 proclamation day kept claiming the county was broke, and stuck the Ligthouse in a drawer for years. Ed Mangano last year mocked the Isles preseason game sales in Brooklyn, and in effect kicked out the New York Islanders for the minor league RFP someone else will pay for after a referendum which is a good way to create political cover for yourself.

Wang was right, he needed a place to play, he was being evicted in 2015 for this RFP which had everything to do with money/nothing to do with any semblance of losing the greatest US hockey dynasty in NHL history for one minute.

The New York/New Jersey Nets got their Goodbye/Good-riddance treatment from LI based Ranger fan Chris Christie a year ago for their thirty plus years in New Jersey video.


Can you imaging the response in Detroit if their local officials put the Amway sponsored, Mike Illitch, Red Wings, who already got taxpayer money for Comerica Park (and neglected Tiger Stadium while pocketing money forcing it's demolition) a public referendum on a Red Wings new arena?

Anyone think the poorest congressional district in America (South Bronx) was going to approve a taxpayer bonded stadium for George Steinbrenner via public referendum?

For myself, the New York Islanders have always been a New York team, it's move into NYC at the Barclay's Center nothing more than the Devils moving from the Meadowlands to the Prudential Center.

Others stuck on the Long Island label (a problem the organization also helped create) will see the move differently.

Bottom line if the fans stepped up filled the building, and kept the public trust, it would have been political suicide for the politicians not to follow suit with whoever owned the Islanders by 1991.

A new building with revenue or a massive renovation would have been done by 1995 as John Pickett's legacy for all his spending to go with a team special like few in sports history. 

If our fans during 41 home games every year treated them like three playoff games this year since 1989, politicians would have been forced to do whatever it takes to retain the team long ago.

Just like most other places.
Not here. 

8/18/13

So What's Next For New York Islanders & Nassau Coliseum?

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/18/2013 10:44:00 PM
The New York Islanders will soon open a training camp, likely weaker on paper at this time than they were during the 2013-14 season because they cannot replace Mark Streit's offensive ability, and are now relegated like most teams to scoring by committee on defense.

Whoever is on John Tavares right side, someone steps up or the decision making that produced numbers (not on-ice success with Parenteau/Boyes) runs out with Pierre-Marc Bouchard or another player.

Snow's due for a step back here. 

Sure a team that was tied/leading after two peirods in 40/48 games, who came back in some of those games trailing has one great trend to carry into this season. Having written this without that 11-1 streak that was a sub five hundred club that now comes into a sixteen team conference against more corporate teams with far more mistakes they can fix with that advantage to go with buildings where the owner controls the revenue because the local government gives the teams taxpayer money.

And as we all know our fan base is the best at staying home, no one is handing Wang a check like Dolan receives with his growing 16m a year tax exemption, Phoenix or many teams received for their modern revenue controlled taxpayer funded buildings. Bankrupt Detroit considers the Wings worth 280m dollars of taxpayer money for Amway sponsored Red Wings/Mike Illitch Lighthouse as does Edmonton taxpayers spending for Mr Katz's Lighthouse without referendum.

Some think a few luxury boxes in Barclay's Center evens that playing field must still be working from the 1980's John Pickett/Smg agreement luxury box playbook.

With three of eight playoff spots already earmarked for the other division things are tougher than they were now more than ever to make the playoffs. Unless players grow up sooner or produce more offensive (Okposo 4/48) it's not going to happen in 2013-14 on the ice.

Still time for some tweaking, but few roster spots in play if any. The answer may take into the season before alternatives are exhausted.
***********************************
Coliseum: 
I asked the question who's deciding this in July a while back at this website. Ed Mangano's Business Advisory Council started three years ago did. 

Here is the list of some those 17 members who to date have never been mentioned before this RFP from a group first announced in March 2010.
The Business Advisory Council consists of Sandata Chairman and CEO Bert Brodsky;  President of the Long Island Association and Co-Chair of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, Kevin Law; former Town of Hempstead Supervisor and Dean of Business Development at Hofstra University, Richard Guardino; Kirk Kordeleski, CEO of Bethpage Federal Credit Union; Michael Puntillo, President of Jobco Realty and Construction; Henry Holley, President of The Holley Group; Mike Posillico, Executive Vice President of Strategic Business Development at the Posillico Group; and Executive Director of the IDA, Joseph Kearney.

Eden Laikin, one of Mr Dolan's former political Newsday reporters who came under fire for some biased coverage (not interviewing Islander fans during Joe Mondello duffel-bag comment day) during LH project still writes for Mr Mangano on county website.


No idea if vote on NEC/Ratner comes to legislature before the election or if the TOH  finds a way to reject it even though this absolutely fits the scale of Kate Murray's limits.

There is always the Mangano vs Democratic NIFA feud.

I doubt we're done seeing Smg/Asbestos/Wang rent articles out of Dolan's Newsday also.

Dolan's spokeswoman's words are amusing because that failed political process she complained about got them a chance to bid for the property instead of a Lighthouse or an approved referendum, but anyone who thinks they are not watching closely at what legislature does are kidding themselves.

Bottom line long way to go, however this likely will happen eventually. Nassau could care less about the Islanders games there regardless. Mangano will want to push hard to get his agreement approved to sell his re-election.

If this goes past election day, and Suozzi wins (huge past Dolan backer) all bets could be off, but Mangano was forced to live with Wang/Smg sublease signed in Dec 2009 in Suozzi's final days.

Also for all the images I post of the Coliseum site, what things look like always are far different when construction is done. But the roof is not coming off, the corridors are not going be expanded. The Lighthouse project had the ice dropped for more capacity/luxury boxes, the corridors expanded.

The money in the only one early bid called for a brand new building, not a very big one at that.

Also please stop.......this little RFP is not the Lighthouse, it's adding a few restaurants, bowling alley's on that little footprint around the Coliseum that also surrounds the walk of champions area. The big development over the large majority of that property all belongs to Master Developer, Don Monti.

Wang has his hotel/abatement. 

This is all one very small RFP Again please look at the image.
Even more to scale.


************************************
Bridgeport:
Many forget Wang gave Dolan's AHL team permission to have a playoff home game at his managed Webster Bank Arena in 2012 on little notice, the AHL had no apparent problem. This was after the Wolfpack/Whale/whatever swept the Sound Tigers in the first round. Only 1100 people attended that Whalepack game at Webster Bank Arena. 

Domain name games notwithstanding in 2013 it comes down to the terms in the Sound Tigers lease and as arena operator, and if Wang/Bridgeport can make a deal for the Sound Tigers to relocate.

Howard Saffan:
For a few early years I did not even spell Howard Saffan's last name correctly here.

Remember how angry he got about Centerplate forcing Sound Tigers playoff games out of then Harbor Yard to Coliseum in 2009? 3/31/2009 but as Charles Wang's employee in an arena currently Wang operates, ultimately Saffan must do what Wang tells him.

 "We didn't want, under any set of circumstances, to move these games to Nassau Coliseum or any other venue," Sound Tigers president Howard Saffan said. "We wanted to play our playoff series, wanted to host our playoff series in our home rink. The Arena at Harbor Yard precluded us from doing as such."

"This all proceeds from the actions of Centerplate, who would clearly rather have Sesame Street in place of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. I find that to be despicable," Saffan said. "My suggestion to Miss Carlotto is, if she wants Sesame Street, she can book them 365 days a year if so. To snub her nose at her best tenant, here for 40 games a year, and then to book Sesame Street, knowing fully it will violate the agreement, is reprehensible."

Compounding the public anxiety was the Islanders' Saturday-night announcement; Bridgeport hadn't informed season ticketholders, who already paid for playoff tickets.

"Why it got out, there's nothing I can do. I can apologize, which obviously I have in several e-mails to fans," Saffan said. "There's no way we wanted our most valuable fans, our season ticketholders, to be disjointed. But people make mistakes."

Why not mention in advance that this move might happen?

"What you need to understand, the American Hockey League needs to approve every (schedule)," he said. "To come out and say, 'by the way, it looks like this game is going to happen at the Coliseum,' it's not appropriate. We can get fined for it. Any customer of ours who doesn't desire to go to the Coliseum, that's perfectly understandable."

Mr Saffan's  never been shy about speaking his mind about the Sound Tigers business, this man has done an excellent job over the years. Centerplate is part of the current Webster Bank agreement with Wang so events have moved on since 2009. 
 
If Charles Wang makes an agreement to break his lease with Bridgeport, and Wang/Ratner make an agreement to bring the Sound Tigers to Nassau Coliseum, Mr Saffan if part of Wang's group at that time will be part of arrangements to bring in another team whether it be Islander related ECHL or another AHL team. 

This is all in the future, however on Friday, Bruce Ratner said the Sound Tigers were moving to the his NEC Veterans Memorial Coliseum. 

The New York Islanders will begin another season in October.

8/17/13

Updated NEC Veterans Memorial Coliseum BluePrint

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/17/2013 07:25:00 AM
Mr Ratner's book of Coliseum blueprint images apparently was updated for Friday's press conference from his original blueprints.

Not that any free publication had them or the Islanders website. 

I thought folks would like to see what was filled in since Patch.com video 1:38 frame shows everything to scale. 
The ice skating rink was the only thing not diagrammed. 

Nassau County Video with only press conference questions about Islanders & Sound Tigers. (4:40)

Updated Sept-Complete plan image.




The bowling alley, restaurants all go in that little area or are attached to the Coliseum. The lawn is the winter ice-skating rink added to the bid.

Some may recall I did this a few months ago. Ratner can only build on that little area around the Coliseum, the rest is Don Monti's to develop. The hotel is Charles Wang's with that sliver of connecting abatement so his restaurant competes with Ratners, with Champions.

Everything goes in that little green area between the walk of champions. That was the scale for everyone's project design.

Not a lot of money invested in Coliseum itself. No corridor expansion, no roof changes, sure some better/bigger seats which  reduce capacity, exterior changes.

Here is what 40m bought in Tampa Bay Lightning Arena Renovations in 2011. 

If what I read was correct the Coliseum renovations will be only 89m & that's New York prices with local union labor.

In other words not a great deal is changing at the Coliseum, even though one rejected earlier plan called for a brand new building with that bid 189m. (mostly for extras around building)

8/16/13

Horrible Day At Nassau Coliseum, Saffan: Ratner Bridgeport Claim "Irresponsible"

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/16/2013 06:35:00 PM
Updated 8/17/13:
12:30am Ct Post with most of what's below from Howard Saffan.

I understand why Charles Wang likely wanted no part of sharing a stage with some of the people who forced this day to happen. Short of Dolan winning the bid it was a horrible day. 

A celebration in Nassau County for losing it's only major professional sports team, one with a championship history/tradition that was special beyond words to officially become minor league while every other municipality found hundreds of millions in taxpayer money (even bankrupt Detroit) to keep the public trust with it's sports teams?

More like a celebration of political incompetence for over two decades. 

Some of the same people over the years with the same hollow words, legislature approval pending. 


Folks, I cannot create my own quoted news. (though some bloggers who need page views try) I can only link to the articles with the direct quotes from the individuals involved.

Ct Post: Friday afternoon Bridgeport Sound Tigers President, Howard Saffan flat out said Bruce Ratner's comments on bringing Sound Tigers to Nassau Coliseum were irresponsible.

 “My comment is the same position (as yesterday),” Saffan said; see yesterday’s. “We have a contractual arrangement with the City of Bridgeport to put a hockey team in here. We absolutely to not have any agreement in place (to Nassau). Our owner has not executed any agreement with Barclays.”
 
So if at some point Charles Wang does make a deal and something did go down?

“We will explore all our avenues to put an AHL team in this building,” Saffan said. “It’s irresponsible, what (Ratner) said.”

For myself it's not the first time Ratner's gone overboard with claims though he did elaborate on the 18,000 for hockey fairly enough.

Bruce Ratner on April, 21st, 2012 told the NY Post, Rich Calder the Barclay's Center could  hold 18,000 for hockey:


Q: How many people will the arena hold?
A: 18,200 for basketball, 19,000 for concerts and likely 14,500 for hockey.
Q: Regarding hockey, is there any chance that more seating down the road could be added for hockey? [14,500 seats would make it the smallest NHL hockey venue]
A: Here’s the issue: Hockey is the kind of sport that because of the dasher [boards] you can get a slightly obstructed seat when the puck is right on your side. We can hold 18,000 for hockey. The question is how many above 14,500 would have somewhat obstructed seats. We have a good sense of it [that the number of seats not obstructed is about 14,500], so if your question is whether we’d want to put in more seats? Probably not. Can we change the obstructions? Probably not. Will more seats be okay? Possibly.

Bridgeport Sound Tigers Not Moving To Nassau Coliseum

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/16/2013 02:19:00 AM
Ct Post: Michael Fornabaio has an interview with Charles Wang's Bridgeport Sound Tigers President , Howard Saffan on what Thursday's decision means for the future of the Sound Tigers. 


"We have a long-term contractual arrangement here. We're here another eight years,"

said Bridgeport Sound Tigers president Howard Saffan, whose Harbor Yard Sports and Entertainment also operates Bridgeport's Webster Bank Arena.

Saffan echoed what he has said every other time relocation rumors spring up.

"It's wonderful that A plus B equals C, but there's reality," Saffan said.

"It's wonderful that Barclays is the developer," Saffan said. "We wholeheartedly support that. We'll see what tomorrow brings."

NYIFC Comments:
No Bridgeport Sound Tigers at Coliseum as said all along.

Will be very interesting to see if Dolan's AHL team winds up at the Coliseum based upon this news. Either that or Ratner's group brings in his own AHL team to compete against the Islander affiliate in Bridgeport.

Since the 2010–11 season, every team in the league had an affiliation agreement with an NHL team from another organization which mean an imported Coliseum team would not represent the New York Islanders prospects. 
  
AHL.com has an updated list of current NHL/AHL affiliations. 
Here is a listing of all ECHL/NHL affiliations from Ratner to choose from if he chooses to go ECHL, and is allowed. 

8/15/13

Next Steps For Nassau Coliseum's Future & New York Islanders

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/15/2013 11:07:00 PM
Islanders website Announced ITV will cover live press conference Friday 11:30 from Coliseum, Charles Wang not on guest list.

LI Herald has more from Mangano & the next steps in the process here..

Ratner was unanimously picked by Mangano's business group. 

Mangano, Ratner reps will have another Coliseum press conference on Friday about possible construction dates. 

The contract is now in the hands the Nassau County Legislature. Approval requires a simple majority, and the Legislature currently holds 10 Republicans and nine Democrats, it could die there.

If it's delayed past November election, and big Dolan contributor, Tom Suozzi, wins his old job back, the agreement could be easily overturned faster than Mangano took LH off county website day one of his administration.

Suozzi had some cryptic comments on decision Thursday:
 "The bottom line," he said in response to Thursday's news, "is that this is a central piece of the county's future, and we need to make sure that this plan will come to fruition as proposed. And more importantly, we need to make sure that there's a vision for the long term to do something more ambitious than just build the new Coliseum."

If NIFA has a say, you can bet they will likely want to block anything Mangano does.

Dolan's media will go all out to make process as negative as possible, Msg statement reflected no class. 

Mangano said the lease is signed, contains all negotiated terms and conditions, “and is immediately ready for consideration and approval.” 

Mangano (video) also said there has been no discussions not in the contract not eloborating if that means the current agreement or the one with Ratner with regard to the Islanders moving earlier  

The New York Islanders would play a minimum of four games at the Coliseum that could include preseason games.


Forest City Ratner has agreed to accept all costs and responsibilities for operating, insuring, maintaining and providing utilities for the Coliseum beginning on Aug. 1, 2015, which is the expiration date of the county’s lease with the arena’s current operator, SMG.

Dolan's Msg's spokesman statement reflects Garden's usual lack of class, who was reportedly never present at one meeting, and almost won the bid from home.

Wang/Rechler did over 200 meetings for LH and spent 20m dollars. Wang ran around daily for referendum.

Mangano's no hero today, he got a great deal for Nassau County making them minor league forever, while bankrupt Detroit, and governments all over the US/Canada found a way to pay for new facilities for their professional teams.

Losing the New York Islanders goes at the top of Mangano's political resume forever between bringing in 1986 New Jersey Giant football players to celebrate their accomplishments. He helped make Long Island strictly minor league for pro sports, and lost the greatest US NHL team ever because he refused to lock the doors, and find a way to pay for a new home for a team that earned it more than most.

NYIFC Comments:
1. Forget the New York Islanders remaining at the Nassau Coliseum, that's gone forever in a 13,000 seat arena. At best a four/six game visitor, at worst, no games at all. There will be no move permanent move back to the Nassau Coliseum.

1A. We don't know where NHL stands with split home games of any kind or if that is something in Ratner's lease he must deliver or it voids agreement. 

2. Who knows where this leaves Bridgeport? Ratner could bring in his own AHL team, leaving the Soud Tigers at Ct under their binding lease at Webster Bank Arena, an ECHL team could go to Coliseum or Bridgeport.

2A. If Ratner/Yormark are smart they should want Islander AHL affiliates in Ct, Long Island, and an ECHL team up in that new Bronx arena.  Stockton, California does not help your local branding.

Wang has not commented, he may have preferred Dolan's plan for all we know as best for his hotel business? 

Ratner could call up Dolan and ask if he wants to bring the Wolfpack to the Coliseum? There are no rules here.

Bottom line a lot of steps ahead, today was part of one of one that long-term may not mean anything.

Wang was handed development rights for Lighthouse in 2004. It was overturned until 2006 when he won Master Developer Bid after D'Amato demanding open bidding which set things back for over a year, Don Monti is current master developer for HUB, this was just about Coliseum, and the two sets of land between Wang's connecting abatement next to hotel.

Our fans should have learned one thing over the years, friendships change fast in business. 

Nassau County Release On Ratner RFP Winning Bid Terms

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/15/2013 01:01:00 PM
Note-Msg issued a statement feeling it still has the best bid, and that the legislature decides otherwise on Ratner winning bid.

Nassau County Release On Ratner RFP Winning Bid by Mangano

 I am pleased to announce that Nassau Events Center, LLC is the successful proposer to transform the 43-year old Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Plaza into an attractive, first class destination for family fun, sports and entertainment. This is also the unanimous recommendation of the County’s RFP Committee. Accordingly, I will soon send the NEC lease to the Nassau County Legislature which is the next step in the approval process.
 
NEC will invest a minimum of $229 Million in renovating the Coliseum and the Plaza to create a first class destination. During the initial 34 year lease term, Nassau County will receive 8% of gross revenue, 12.75% of parking fees with a minimum guaranteed payment of $4 Million a year escalating by 10% every five years, resulting in a minimum lease term payment of $195 Million to the County. With options exercised, the minimum lease payment grows to $334 Million. Similarly, the Plaza area, now concrete, will be transformed and will generate the greater of $400,000 a year in rent or 8% of the gross revenue. In addition, Nassau County maintains rights for future development on the site.

Although the decision was not easy, there were points that the Committee emphasized when recommending NEC and, in an effort to continue an open and transparent process, I would like to share them with you all today. They are:
  1. NEC has agreed to accept all costs and responsibility for operating, insuring, maintaining and providing utilities for the Coliseum beginning on August 1, 2015, which is when the current lease expires. This was viewed as providing a direct financial benefit to the County by eliminating millions of dollars in annual expenses for utilities, parking lot repairs and capital expenditures. Utilities alone cost Nassau over $2,000,000 last year. This will relieve the County from shouldering these expenses during the period when the developer will be seeking approvals, designing the various improvements, constructing and operating the Coliseum and Plaza area.
  2. The NEC proposal includes the payment of rent during the preconstruction approvals period and the actual construction period, commencing on August 1, 2015. It is estimated that this will yield a positive cash flow to the County in the first two years of over $2,000,000 while shedding millions in expenses.
  3. The minimum annual rent paid by NEC upon completion of construction for both the Coliseum and Plaza Improvements is $4,400,000, or $1,400,000 per year more than MSG’s proposal. In addition, the minimum rent under the NEC proposal escalates at the rate of 10% every five years, versus the MSG proposal of escalation of 5% every five years. Rent under the NEC proposal is calculated based on 8% gross revenues yielded by both the Coliseum and Plaza Improvements plus 12.75% of parking revenue. This was viewed as more beneficial to the County than the MSG proposal which is based solely on $1.50 per ticket sold. Under each proposal, there is a credit against minimum annual rent equal to the amount of the ticket tax paid to the County.
  4. According to the County’s financial adviser, Public Financial Management, Inc. (“PFM”), the total minimum rent payable over the initial 34 years of the lease is $112,109,840 for MSG, versus $194,522,894 for NEC. This was regarded by the Committee as providing a significant factor for selection of NEC over MSG.
  5. Under the NEC proposal, the County retains control over any future development of the Coliseum site.
 In conclusion, the Committee viewed NEC’s willingness to accept, at Islanders/SMG lease expiration, immediate financial and managerial responsibility for the Coliseum at its sole expense, to pay rent to the County before and during construction, and to pay a measurably higher annual minimum rent with higher escalations as primary characteristics that contributed to distinguishing NEC’s commitment and confidence from the proposal submitted by MSG

Ratner Wins Coliseum Development RFP-Issue Now Turns To Bridgeport

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/15/2013 11:48:00 AM
Stunned, shocked, and speechless. I wrote the entry for Dolan winning two days ago, which may be cached & available for those who want that version. 

Fort Neverlose for now remains New York Islander Country.

If the NHL approves, the New York Islanders will play six home games at a renovated/downsized Nassau Coliseum. Bruce Ratner has to come up with an AHL team as promised in his bid which will shift the focus to Bridgeport/Wang's lease until 2021 in a facility he manages. Wang obviously can now continue to use the Coliseum for some Islander-related things like practices.

Dolan offered more money for most of the bidding period, a higher capacity facility, he had Master Developer of the HUB, Don Monti's endorsement, and one of the best real estate developer's on Long Island in former Wang/Lighthouse partner, Scott Rechler.

Plus Dolan owned virtually all the Long Island media.


Obviously the Nassau legislature, Mangano perhaps were not the biggest fans of Dolan's past, and present with bullying politicians/media/unions, and their tax exemption/operating permit demnds. Dolan historically has been a huge Suozzi supporter.

Perhaps Wang's right to reject any play detrimental to the Marriott, also played a part?

Whatever the truth is, it likely will not be reported. The Long Island Press on 8/13 reported Dolan's selectiver reporting standards regarding politcial contributions here.  


Newsday printed a story recently blasting a firm competing with the newspaper’s owners over the opposing business’ political spending without disclosing campaign donations made by the paper’s parent company—a new low.

“It is an error, and highly suspect,” Jaci Clement, executive director of Bethpage-based Fair Media Council, a local media watchdog group, said of the omission in the Aug. 7 article titled “Forest City’s political spending.”

“The whole product clearly screams who the owner is, and that it’s meant to be little more than a marketing vehicle for what it has to sell,” she said of Newsday‘s coverage since Cablevision took over. “And that may include seats at Nassau Coliseum.”


Unless Wang comments, who knows how he feels about it? AHL teams will have to pay the same prices NHL teams do when they visit.

Dolan reportedly went to no meetings, the latest Msg President, Hank Ratner (no relation). Bruce Ratner not only advised Nassau but was there for everything, maybe the personal factor won over some of the legislature?

Another former Msg President,  Dave Checkettes, who has a very contentious history with Dolan, is on team Ratner, and no doubt very happy.

There will be no Msg zone at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, it will remain the historical home of the New York Islanders along with all the extra's. 

Will be fun  now to see Dolan have to hire writers for Ratner's Coliseum teams, and provide television coverage? 

Canadian Media Slam Sports