Nassau Coliseum RFP 101: Who's Deciding This In July?

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/29/2013 05:40:00 PM |

Not the most unreasonable question to ask.

All we know is this will be decided on or around 7/15. No details, no Nassau County release as to who is specifically making this decision, what their background is, political contributions, associations with companies bidding?

The past archives was able to do this with the Referendum in May 2011, and the Lighthouse.

So much for the open process, public comment. Smg is involved with two of the bids that has ties to Al D'Amato. Why not let the public decide RFP winner in November at the ballot box along with Mangano's future via referendum?

That's right, Mangano needs his kick the Islanders out, someone's paying us to build an arena celebration party long before November to survive, and it's not something that should be decided by voters when it may not go the way some in government may want it to. 

Like it or not this is only about six future Islander games every year at some downsized version of the Coliseum.

If Msg wins the bid, the New York Islander brand is finished forever at the Coliseum, and on Long Island with it's history besides practices at Iceworks, regardless of what Charles Wang says because as he said he no longer has a place to play on Long Island.

Perhaps that was Mangano's plan since 2011, and that he knew of others would be willing to finance a downsized Coliseum even then..............Whatever.

If Ratner wins the bid he promises six New York Islander games a year not be played in the teams new home at the Barclay's Center, and it likely cast into serious doubt the future of Charles Wang's Bridgeport Sound Tigers in Ct. 

The real story is who is buying an AHL team or moving it to the Coliseum which was promised in every bid besides Bernard Shereck of Bayville and his company New York Sports & Entertainment along with partner Global Spectrum aka Smg/Ed Snider/Philadelphia Flyers. (Al D'Amato?)

Unlike the Lighthouse we all knew the politicians on both sides, with the referendum we knew about NIFA, and where they stood. It was easy to do entries here detailing who they were, and how they were appointed.

Bruce Ratner was brought in to advise Nassau County, he was given no special  advantage. It remains to be seen if  home team Cablevision/Newsday has any advantage or Smg/Blumenfeld, but I would guess the home team Dolan's win the bid without a fight against their media. (Cablevision, Newsday, News12LI)

Hofstra's Stuart Rabinowicz as usual supports the Blumenfeld bid May 22nd.
Ed Blumenfeld has commented that Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz “is in favor of our proposal.” Has Blumenfeld proposal (also Smg involvement)

A few folks were curious where they could find the bid/supporting video:
This is the booklet for Forest City Ratner's bid with images
Video of Ratner presentation

Dolan: Cablevision/Msg/Newsday presentation:
Msg Hub Vision
Msg video

5/30/13: Msg President, Hank Ratner, on Coliseum interview.
And as for Islanders fans who may see Rangers memorabilia decorating the Coliseum as a salting of the wound, Ratner said the Coliseum would keep its own identity separate from the Garden. But they would have to get used to having their rivals a little closer to home.

“There are a lot of Ranger fans on Long Island,” said Ratner. “That’s still Ranger territory.”

Msg's release on New Penn Station 5/29/13 as usual show they do not work well with others, ignoring their yearly 16m dollars taxpayer exemption & free electricity via taxpayers is why they renovated to retain it.  Nassau County should be considering this conduct with their bid.
 “It’s curious to see that there are so many ideas on how to tear down a privately owned building that is a thriving New York icon, supports thousands of jobs, and is currently completing a $1 billion transformation. These pie-in-the-sky drawings completely ignore the fact that no viable plans or funding to rebuild Penn Station and relocate MSG actually exist. Not that long ago, MSG spent millions of dollars and three years exploring a move to the Farley building as part of the new vision for Moynihan Station. That plan collapsed for a number of reasons that did not involve MSG, but did involve many of the same people now pressuring MSG to move, including the Municipal Art Society, which created enormous obstacles to achieving the relocation. The restoration of Moynihan Station has been a 20-year discussion that has led to very little progress or funding. The fact that this exercise does not include anyone who actually has detailed knowledge of this issue or understands the realities of this complex project exposes this exercise for exactly what it is.”

So Msg feels it's a New York icon, entitled to a taxpayer exemption (since 1982) that is now up to over sixteen million a year Con Ed Electricty money from taxpayers costing one million a year as of 2004 , and an operating permit in perpetuity? 

Too many past links to post here on Msg refusing to move without its tax exemption or Asembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's Msg ties and special treatment Silver receives at Msg.

For the record folks, Donald Monti of Renaissance Downtowns is the Master Developer of the HUB now. This Coliseum RFP needs to be brought to scale as to who owns what. (Image below) The Coliseum RFP is only a minor component, and should never be confused with the Lighthouse.

Don Monti has his own Biotech/Lighthouse plan for the site. 

Deck Stacked Against New York In New CBA

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/27/2013 02:13:00 AM |
The corporate teams simply have too many advantages for the New York Islanders to keep up, that's only going to get worse as payrolls head toward a hundred million dollars in a few years. 

The usual suspects will buyout their mistakes or sell them off with the massive front-loaded parts of the contracts paid, time for another front-loaded deal at thirty five percent.

About the only good news is those signings cannot be spread out above seven years.

It's not like Montreal or San Jose were misguided to take on Scott Gomez contract, or that Mike Richards, Jeff Carter were bad decisions by Los Angeles/Columbus.

It's simply that the biggest years of the contract were already paid which was a big advantage. 

Forget this franchise has the lowest attendance in the NHL, with no corporate revenue streams, and a fan base that will never pay what people will in Toronto/Philadelphia for regular season games demanding similar spending.

Now the corporate Red Wings will enter the division, with Brian Burke gone, and a new ownership in Toronto, expect the days of them not front-loading coming to an end. 

To say nothing of the 16-14 conference.

With the new rules they are outgunned financially even before 7/5 with potential UFA allowed to meet with other teams, with local media selling their team, and the New York Islanders having no such media.

Now portions of contracts can be traded also.

Trades? This is mostly a league devoid of major trades because all the top players available are headed for UFA, come with huge baggage, with the top hundred players all having some forum of NTC/NMC, this is not the NHL of Bill Torrey any longer where you can do a Lafontaine-Turgeon multi-player trade because most if not all of those players control where they can go.

Sure come the trade deadline winning/competitive teams can completely remake themselves with draft picks for pending UFA-see Pittsburgh, another huge advantage. 

Jermone Iginla turned down a trade to Boston, he approved a trade to Pittsburgh. 

History under Garth Snow seems to be a take it or leave it kind of mentality (perhaps on both sides) which does not bode well for this team moving forward with Mark Streit, a critical free agent who will be impossible to replace offensively.

The forty eight game whatever ended later so perhaps negotiations are behind somewhat with the NHL players.

Mitchell Theoret and Brenden Kichton are no longer Islander prospects if not signed by Friday.

New York Islanders Should Play 41 Home Games At Barclay's Center

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/17/2013 09:38:00 PM |
Garth Snow gave an audio interview on 5/17 on a likely quiet/not a lot of noise 7/5, and said the team is in the process of designing it's lockeroom at Barclay's Center.

He also again used the word he did not like to use in 2009................Rebuilding. 

Jack Capuano also gave an audio interview 5/17.
You announce the team is moving, sign a twenty five year iron-clad lease, that's it.

In a recent entry, I thew in a sarcastic comment that maybe the Islanders should also play ten games in Quebec to go with the six that were offered to the Coliseum in the Ratner bid, because that's what this is. 

The team should play at home, that's no longer the Nassau Coliseum whether that happens in one year or two years.  

There is a fan base to build, and a new home to hype, that's not at a downsized Nassau Coliseum.

No NHL team will ever play a regular season game in the Nassau Coliseum ever again after the New York Islanders leave.

NHL teams have to play in their home arena, unless they are given an outdoor game. This is not the era of neutral site games anymore which was very short-lived.

The Devils have never returned to East Rutherford, the Caps never went back to Landover once they moved inside the city limits. The Sabres never went back to the AUD. 

I do not agree at all with the New York Islanders playing six games at a downsized Nassau Coliseum.

Mitchell Theoret discusses his future with the New York Islanders here.

Lockout Over At New York Islander Fan Central/Moving Forward

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/12/2013 03:39:00 PM |
With the conclusion of the forty eight game cash-grab by the NHL/NHLPA for the New York Islanders the lockout of discussing the NHL team here is now officially over.

Charles Wang was in the front row cheering the NY Dragons in a playoff game, four days later the team was sold. Business decisions will be made from the head, not the heart. 

Obviously many things happened during the forty eight game whatever you want to call it. Some will have great bearing on 2013-14, others no so much.

What Worked/What Failed/What Was An Illusion During Forty Eight Games?  

* This team was 16-16-3 on March 30th. Despite the impressive stretch of losing only one regulation game, they still could not even win more than three games in a row over forty eight games. They were a great road team with the deck stacked against them with the opening/closing road trips.

* Chemistry sometimes happens out of nowhere, the first home Florida win where they finally held on in the third period seemed the beginning of the trends changing. 

* The chemistry that produced many of those low shot against, low scoring wins broke for good during the final five game in eight day streak with this team having nothing by the time they reached Carolina, and were lucky to secure a point in that game or Buffalo.

That's understandable because no team plays at that high a level forever, and especially under such pressure/travel but what was disturbing was Hickey was not the same dominating player, and had to be pulled from playoff games.

Brian Strait was not the steady player he was earlier before his injury.

The defensive chemistry never really returned. 

* This was a team that played forty eight games, who were tied or leading after all but seven  games, and even came back in three of them to earn points which is how you make the playoffs. It's the best example of progression, but no guarantee moving forward as we saw with the second half Islanders under interim head coach Capuano. It also proves what any defense can do as long as it can skate, forcing play at the opposition which was impossible with 2011-12/prior defenders.

* A little healthy depth was also something not seen here in countless years.

The Big Decisions: 
 The New York Islanders are a team supposedly moving, but may be returning to play six games in it's former home. That's an unheard of set of circumstances that reflects it's binding lease is hardly iron-clad, and it's business still very much unsettled.

The same can absolutely be said about Bridgeport with Ratner/Yormark offering an AHL team to their Coliseum bid. 

Jack Capuano-I'm not sure Jack Capuano is a lock to be back with his contract up. That will likely be decided immediately if a change is made. He has to be judged on all 48 games, if that decision were made on March 30th, the call for his dismissal would be very loud because if his team was simply successful at home they are a top seed. 

Fan Base: Another season 30th in attendance with only twenty four games to pay for hardly believed anything until it was time to start front-running for a few weeks. Even coming home to play the Flyers, the building was hardly filled, and that was with the usual strong Flyer turnout.

Are the New York Islander fans finally willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a weeknight ticket in November against the other conference that so many other markets do win or lose, or will it be 2002-03 where the fans expected ownership to keep the prices at 1980's levels, and stayed home when prices went up to support the players signed even with more playoff appearances? 

If you considered the forty eight games a true sign the franchise is on the right track 15,000 plus have to be in the stands for weeknight home games in October 2013. The excuses since 1989 end now. If Florida can fill the seats, the same people coming for a few weeks can do it over six months for once like everyone else does around this league.  

Rick DiPietro-The story changes because the CBA changed. Kevin Poulin sat on an NHL bench during his worst AHL season while DiPietro played eighteen games to expected results with rust a factor, but finally proving durable.

When the time came to select goaltenders for playoffs Poulin, and Anders Nilsson ill virtually all season  off two games started the final weekend were both called up before DiPietro with Nabokov either exhausted, hurt, or struggling badly.

It's a terrible sign moving forward for DiPietro's future regardless of his health, he may well have been the best alternative. 

Evgeny Nabokov-Will be a tough decision but given the NHL goaltending landscape he may not find a better situation. His play carried the club for most of the forty eight games. This is a goaltender who walked away from 24m in the KHL, was forced to play 82 games for 500k, and liked it so much he resigned.

Mark Streit-New York Statement On 1/16/13 For 2013-14 To Resign Mark Streit Now still applies. He should demand even more money for playing with a frequent healthy scratch in Ottawa, Matt Carker, or re-re cycled, Radek Martinek.

Someone's going to overpay, and give him a true top four defender as a partner. 

Brad Boyes-Points not withstanding, and a few nice defensive back-checks, he's not the answer nor should he be anywhere near the first line. There are better prospects waiting/better free agents if necessary, he created virtually nothing besides a good shot in a 6-1 loss in Pittsburgh. 

Matt Moulson-The bubble finally broke down the stretch, he had to be separated from Tavares. He'll be back but again can someone produce more to take focus off Tavares, and give him more room?

Okposo/Bailey-The production has to catch up to the hard work, we have all seen enough stretches of both.

Cizikas-Was a bigger overall factor than Nielsen. 

The NHL Moving Forward:
* Under Bettman's new unbalanced conference division format the 48 game New York Islanders lose out to Columbus/Detroit this year.

* The disparity between teams only becomes worse as payrolls go down one year, then head toward 80m with usual front-loading advantages by corporate teams in a sport all top players have NT/NMC. 

Bottom Line:
When you prove you can win over 82 games in six months, that's when things have changed. A five hundred club after thirty plus games in a forty eight game season has a long way to go.

There are a few signs this is now built to last, but until it happens it's nothing but words. 

Yes, the Islanders played even or better against a top seed, sure another point or two and they likely beat Montreal. One high stick against Ottawa they are likely a sixth or seventh seed.

Just words, it did not happen. Too bad we did not get a full 82 game season to find out.

Now we will. the lockout here is over.

Ratner Offering AHL Team For Coliseum With Islander Home Games?

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/05/2013 10:20:00 AM |
As much as folks (myself) want to move on from this subject, it's absolutely become something of critical importance to the future of the New York Islanders, and especially now the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Brett Yormark from the Nets confirmed an AHL team to the Coliseum on 5/10 in an audio interview 6:10 mark.

Why sign a twenty five year, so-called iron-clad lease, then have your new landlord offer your team play six games a year back in a down-sized Coliseum after less than seven months after the Brooklyn press conference? 

Is this how you really increase your fan base or start building one in Brooklyn or make money? Does five games at a downsized Coliseum every year become ten in Quebec with this so-called iron clad lease.

It also seems virtually everyone has an American Hockey League franchise all set to bring to the Nassau Coliseum.

Bruce Ratner:
If Bruce Ratner speaks for Charles Wang, his NHL team is moving, but coming back, an AHL team will be brought in to compete with the Sound Tigers or it will be Wang's team in Bridgeport moving.

There have been many entries here with comments on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers lease, with quotes from team President, Howard Saffan, that Charles Wang's AHL franchise will be in Bridgeport until 2021 with a binding lease, in a building Charles Wang operates/renovated this year.

So where is Mr Ratner getting his AHL team from?

Where are all these bidders getting their AHL franchises from besides Dolan?

Why Now? 
It's being decided by June or July at the latest, it's an election year, the bidding is over.

I know some of our teams fans besides being 30th in attendance, only care about owners throwing money out the window on free agents, but this is what pays for those front-loaded contracts.

So you better care a little because you are not getting a 2013 payroll at 1975 ticket prices. 

You Need An Updated Scorecard To Tell The Players:
There have been a few fascinating trades along the way too. 

Wang's Lighthouse/Marriott, Sublease, partner, Scott Rechler, in with Msg/Dolan bid? So much for them being best pals.

Dolan's former Msg President, Dave Checketts, who was practically escorted out of Msg in 2007 in with Bruce Ratner for John Davidson's whatever ceremony:
Just below it, the Dolan stench-maker was at full throttle. Davidson was given a suite for the day - but with one restriction: Members of the Blues' new New York-based ownership/management team, the men who used to work for the Garden, including ex-Garden president Dave Checketts, Ken Munoz and Mike McCarthy, were denied entrance.
That's right, an NHL team owner made it clear that fellow NHL team owners were not welcomed in Jimmy's Playhouse, er, Madison Square Garden, on the day their teams played each other.           
"A couple of weeks ago I heard I'd not be welcomed into the suite they were giving J.D.," said McCarthy. "And then I couldn't even buy tickets through the Garden. I eventually had to buy them on StubHub.
"I always took the high road; I never did anything but good for Madison Square Garden; I gave everything I had to the Garden, and for 23 years. And now I'm not even welcomed to set foot in the place. It's disturbing. I guess that's why I left in the first place."

I guess Mike Sielski was not interested in that story unless it's in a three minute video. 
Blumenfeld in with Smg, who you can bet want to keep management rights with Al D'Amato.

New York Sports and Entertainment LLC is partnered with Global Spectrum,a subsidiary of Comcast or Flyers owner Ed Snider, who's Smg company that manages the Coliseum with Isles under 2009 sublease.

Does Flyers owner Ed Snider have two bets down on this bid? He got a new AHL home under construction with taxpayer money.

At this time former Msg President, Bob Gutkowski does not seem to be a part of this, but here is his latest resume here.

Anyone notice no one is talking baseball stadium yet on the rest of Don Monti's HUB.

Nothing Could Be More Personal For Dolan Family:
When current Msg President Hank Ratner says It's Personal you better believe it. 
“Said simply, our group is uniquely qualified to create a world-class destination for Long Island,” said Madison Square Garden Company President and CEO Hank Ratner. “For us, it’s not just business. It’s personal.”

The Nassau Coliseum, and the New York Islanders were Islander fan, Charles Dolan's, first choice of hockey's franchises to own. The New York Islanders were Cablevision's signature television property when they were trying to get started long ago.

Charles Dolan signed an agreement with John Pickett to purchase the New York Islanders. 

Charles Dolan kicked Msg off Cablevision in those days.

For Ranger fan, James Dolan,  it's revenge for the continuing unexpected television contract payments in Brooklyn, a chance to wipe New York Islander history off the Long Island map forever, expanding his own Msg branding officially into Nassau County,  and perhaps force a failed New York Islander brand in Brooklyn out of business at some future point, again saving on huge future cable contract payments.

Kind of circumvents Wang's idea of keeping practices on Long Island, and commuting besides Iceworks.

The Rangers will be having open practices at a James Dolan operated Coliseum as the official home team, no doubt future home exhibition games.

No Mr Wang, the Islanders will not be permitted to continue on Long Island in any capacity as the home team. 

Nassau Coliseum:
One thing that can be written is the Coliseum with enough extra's thrown in is considered self-sustaining to the many people that bid for it.

Considering all the modern arena's bleeding red ink, and this is not the entire HUB that Don Monti is Master Developer of is surprising.
Ed Mangano: 
Frankly put, Ed Mangano won huge, and is correct about one of his problems now being solved.

Someone will pay hundreds of millions for the privilege of giving Nassau County money.
He could care less about the Islanders, and will quickly name the RFP winner giving Nassau hundreds of millions as part of his re-election campaign promise kept. 

The taxpayers (on paper) will not pay one dime, Mangano can start honoring the AHL Long Island Rangers as Nassau County's official home team in the new Msg Live Zone as soon as he approves Dolan's Msg/Nassau East which likely will happen no matter what Ratner, Blumenfeld offers.

Cablevision, Newsday, News12LI, Msg media can break anyone on Long Island, and have the money to do it, this is their home area, not Bruce Ratner, or any other bidder.

Anyone really think Ed Mangano wants the Dolan's who defeated Mike Bloomberg, and have fought virtually every sports team/channel as an emeny in an election year on Long Island?

This is not the Lighthouse or Town of Hempstead with Kate Murray approval required or everyone other team who got paid by taxpayers for keeping their team where it is. It's also not the entire HUB.

In other words, construction will happen as soon as the New York Islanders are out, with Charles Wang's approval. 

The entire HUB is Donald Monti's problem, who has to deal with Town Of Hempstead/Murray zone.

Could Mangano's selecton committee actually turn down Msg? Never underestimate Nassau County incompetence, but in this case that's an incredible long-shot.

Charles Wang: 
He controls the Marriott, the abatement permanently, and until 2015 has right of first refusal "It's a situation where he really controls the site until 2015," when the team's lease at the arena expires, Burman said.

Long Island Busniess News August 2012 
Wang’s newest lease for the Coliseum signed last year gives him a say in what eventually gets built around the rest of the property. The Hub’s master developer will have to build a tiered parking to make up for any of the 6,500 parking spots lost, and Wang can reject any plan he deems would “adversely affect the use and operation” of his Long Island Marriott hotel and the Coliseum.
In short until 2015, Wang can reject any plan approved (including Ratner's) but if he wants out of his Islanders lease earlier it may be something he has to trade.

Wang rejects Dolan's plan if given RFP good luck finding any New York Islander telecast or pregame until 2031. Say goodbye to any Newsday coverage of the team anywhere. 

It seems for now Ratner has more say over the New York Islanders than Charles Wang, who's hotel is likely as easily available for purchase as the Sound Tigers could be very soon.