New York Notables: Coliseum...Bridgeport...Ratner...TOH Approval

New York Islander Fan Central | 5/28/2015 08:39:00 AM |
I guess my one big question about Bruce Ratner is if he's selling his stake in the Nets/Barclays, which includes his iron-clad lease with the Islanders to somebody why would anything think he's going to run or manage the Coliseum long-term when this is finally done? 

To say nothing of Mikhail Prokhorov who's a financial part in all of this.

This is all going to pass to someone else at some point in their company or be sold to another individual. 

Sure it could all be sold to Dolan.

To be fair Bruce Ratner's been an owner of the Nets since 2002, but he's no kid, and like Wang at some point no longer will want a stake in a sports team/or in any arena.

Dolan's Newsday Hurdles For Ratner:
So much for all those hurdles according to James Dolan's media that Ratner had to face on 4/29? They gave a blogger (who's very good, does his homework, and legitimately rips on Ratner's business practices) a nice negative op-ed before Ratner received unanimous TOH/Kate Murray approval on 5/26.

I guess they ran out of editorial board members. 

Now Dolan's business people are claiming all hurdles have been cleared when in fact on 4/29 only one hurdle had to be cleared which was TOH approval. We'll see what they can drum up to keep it negative.

So How Did Ratner Get Approved By Kate Murray?
Reading the TOH rules for meetings they make clear they never approve anything day one.  Ratner showed up on 5/19, after he finally gave them his plans in April, they reviewed the testimony and drew up a negative declaration (which means there is nothing adverse/negative to the environment or TOH 2011 zoning) so they approved Ratner's construction on the Coliseum, and around it's footprint. 

At first I thought a negative declaration meant they were going to vote it down.  Once I read the paperwork in advance of the 5/26 vote it was clear this would be approved. And we all know she is moving on to district attorney. Islander fans resolve to keep Murray from winning is the equivalent of showing up for weeknight hockey games.

Those maps I used to put up here have been changing since 2013.

Ratner is on the board of Sloan Kettering but that is not part of Ratner's renovations which remain only around the Coliseum footprint and is more Mangano's deal where the hospital will be spending the money for that project/buildings. I'm not sure about these proposed hotels beyond the fact Wang no longer owns the Marriott. Andrew Cuomo has to come through with state funds for a parking structure on that site.

Islander fans, please stop confusing this with the Rechler-Wang Lighthouse. TOH did not want a project large enough to pay for a massive Coliseum renovation, and the real estate that would provide the revenue to sustain a hockey team. TOH let it rot to death in 2009, this is 2015.

And Rechler-Wang only offered a ten year extension of the Islanders lease to 2025 there was some confusion  with the promise of the Islanders playing at a renovated Coliseum for thirty years as documented in 2009.

Ratner's renovation promised around ninety million for the Coliseum, about the same as Dolan's bid, it's all anyone felt the Coliseum was worth.

Now What?
If Ratner has his financing lined up, and still wants to start construction in August, there is nothing Dolan or his media outlets can do to stop it, and that likely includes Blumenfeld's lawsuit because these men have business interest in other places.

Until he starts construction Ratner can walk away any time he wants despite his enthusiam.  How he get's Smg employees or hires a new staff to host a concert on 8/4 when Smg's contract expires 7/31/15 will be an interesting trick.
So What About Bridgeport/AHL Coliseum?
Ratner learned his 2013 lessons no longer claiming  Bridgeport is coming to the Coliseum after Wang's president called his claims of the Sound Tigers moving as irresponsible.  Wang is obligated to provide an AHL team or better in Webster Bank Arena per his lease agreement with Bridgeport, and has put his own money into renovating that facility. 

Ratner has promised Nassau an AHL team as an anchor tenant, he claims this will be announced before the renovations begin, however Nassau could be willing to cut him some slack during the renovation because no hockey games will be played in the Coliseum for the next two years.

According to Brett Yormark the opening act for a renovated Coliseum is college basketball in December 2016. That means unless the plan is to move an AHL team there during the season, there will be no anchor tenant/AHL team ready to begin play until the 2017-18 season. 

Bottom line Ratner has to bring an AHL team to the Coliseum eventually, is he getting into the AHL business as a team owner? Is Wang as minority owner going to operate an AHL team separate of the Islanders? 

You would think Wang-Ratner could work this out, and make an announcement by August, after negotiating the Barclay's lease, unless Wang wants to leave it open for Mr Ledecky/Malkin, and their plans? 

As majority Islander owners Ledecky/Malkin are not obligated to Wang's management of Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport (unless it's part of the sale agreement) or Ratner's agreement in Nassau to provide an AHL team.

We have no clue as to anything Mr Ledecky or Malkin are planning to do as majority owners.

As For the New York Islanders:
Again we'll see how the logistics play out come September. It's a longer ride from Iceworks to Barclay's after game day practices for some players. The Islanders have had players who live in Manhattan, Brian Rolston stayed in the same house he lived in as a member of the Devils and commuted from New Jersey daily after he was traded here.

The Nets are finally moving their practice facilities from New Jersey for 2015-16. 

I found a fun footnote the Marriott hotel next to Barclay's Center is for sale at only 37 million.  Wang's foreclosure on the Marriott brought in a bidder who paid 66 million.