New York Notables...

New York Islander Fan Central | 8/18/2019 06:45:00 AM |

To be clear for those who read this website, or follow the twitter feed, my impression of Scott Malkin & Jon Ledecky (who's never had any negative article written about him back to his days with Caps) is they are honest people, who wanted to purchase a hockey team. The notion Scott Malkin spent his share of 480 million to govern a money-losing team almost every single year since 1972 to build a mall at Belmont wilderness back in 2014 is absurd. You can get lots of land world-wide for a mall without spending that kind of money, much less the cost to fund a 70 million plus payroll with another 30-40 million in operating cost every year. Ledecky long before this point sold his stake in Washington.

Charles Wang's estate/Dewey Shay also have to pay.

No hard feelings with our owners, I do not agree with this decision. Only they know if Cuomo-Dolan told them it's this or Quebec. To me, it has to be a NYC location, even if people sit on the floor at Barclay's. You play where the most people live with best mass transit access. Shea site had flaws but was in NYC with tons of highway access, it would be a perfect fit with Mets.

No doubt Cuomo-Dolan also demanded they forfeit territorial rights so Buffalo could play home outdoor game, so Dolan could keep his tax exemption. It may have been his price for two arena approval which Dolan had to give with NHL, but I digress.....

On the ice, Lamoriello will announce who he signed already, and said others will be signed by camp.

Off the ice things are what they are. It was clear since 2016, Dolan wanted Belmont, and Cuomo's paid to get it for him, with the billions that go from Albany (via taxpayers) to Chase Garden, as fast as you can write Joe Percoco.

Dolan's media sold it 24/7 because it's for them, and their crony companies like Oakview/Azoff. I'm clueless to Wilpon-Sterling role in this given they can't develop in Flushing. My guess is Shea site was Scott Malkin's first choice, both sides wanted it, but Dolan told Cuomo, Belmont or Quebec, which is what Newsday employees pushed with no real details to this day.

Payback for 2013, a little of what they are getting with Clippers arena in LA on their doorstep.

The surprise here was Joe Tsai, not only buying Nets in full this quickly, but he bought Barclay's. He took the Liberty off Dolan's hands, and wants them at Barclay's. I hope our owners talk to them before being part of any Belmont lease signing, and see if a Barclay's renovation is feasible?

Do I think that will happen? No.

Bottom line Belmont is for Dolan & his cronies. Billionaires don't like losing where they live, so the plan is put the Coliseum out of business. Once ground is broken, the NYI are a very disposable 41 day tenant. When attendance is what it's been since 1989, that's the end of the franchise in New York.

Do I think Malkin-Ledecky will do everything possible to fill the stands as a 41-day tenant? Yes.  

Will it work? No. We got all the proof we needed in March with the announced 11-12,000 in first place, and all the phony sellouts by the second game vs Pens. My guess is for many of them that 2015 farewell was it. The tiny fan base is so small even in prime time, five games in nine days is too much for such a small base unlike those that can get a bandwagon going. Other teams fan bases which got a second chance, like Winnipeg, Minnesota, filled their seats for seasons day one but they are in cities. It will never work at Belmont with so many travel/price issues, in another isolated location while teams keep moving to cites or demanding (Ari-Ottawa) that's what they need to survive. This is a fan base that walked in 1989 for good, dead last attendance a year after winning the division.

Malkin will have his mall, it will be the only one like this in the US. It will never work at that horrible congested CIP isolated location with a nice 1/2 mile walk, and no roads for 24/7 shuttle buses around the fringe of a racetrack, that frankly needs a full demolition of it's grandstand. NHL teams going there will literally be sequestered to that location during their stay, when players want to go to NYC.

Cuomo's price for a rail road station went from 300 million to 109 million in 24 hours, that's how dishonest the details & sudden announcements have been made. Dolan got a nice new, Cuomo LIRR entrance in June for 700 million (taxpayers) with ground already broken at Chase Garden. Cuomo wants a 4th term, Dolan wants his operating permit in perpututity to go with his tax exemption. Newsday/News12 can put out a ton of propaganda to get anyone in/out of office. Curran does what's she's told, or Todd Kamnisky will be the next choice for County Executive.

Once Belmont is under construction, no one will care if NYI play games there. Dolan would be very happy to bring down the Wolfack which was his 2013 plan to begin with, and put the cable contract money back in his bank. Maybe now they get back in game for HUB?

Prokhorov's Coliseum lease amendment in January 2019 made clear he cannot even approach Nassau to take his name off the Coliseum lease before 2024 at earliest, he now has NYI at Coliseum as his anchor tenant for two years. All this makes me wonder why did he opt out of Barclay's Islanders lease until 2040, now he has the team he supposedly did not want as his biggest sports draw? No way was Malkin-Ledecky opting out of 53.5 million a year at Barclay's guaranteed through 2040. Oakview will be the next Smg with no arena experience, who under-estimated their first renovation (Seattle) by 330 million already, Azoff will bring in his acts. Oakview was given keys to WBA by Islanders but Bridgeport's lease is over in 2021, and like the ballpark, it could be over for the arena.

Not many bad words for departing Yormark (beyond the Brooklyn spamming which could have been Ratner-Prokhorov-Markowicz, Eric Adams orders) who may be at Coliseum exclusively for a while. He made clear in 2013 what we see is what we get, there would be no major changes, he never lied. His legacy will not be good, but just like with very unpopular Michael Yormark's tenure with Panthers, his departure did not change their attendance. Our fans sat down with MTA to make the goal horn at Barclay's. Every time the fans/NHL/NYI wanted something he did it, but what the tiny LI crew who was actually outdrawn by Barclay's the first two seasons without Sat games, want is a max payroll, 1980 prices, just to barely announce 13.9k sellouts on game-day. Our owners spent 50 million to change management, 130 million this summer to re-sign players heading to UFA and still many of them are not happy, when it's remarkable to go 3/3 with home-grown UFA. Last season they only had to go 21 times, starting 12/1. They legitimately sold out 2-3 games, and it took until game-day vs Columbus, Leafs.
Barclay's got 14.8k, 14k, 13.8 last three games in Feb as a lame duck.

What do I think of Belmont? Like Nassau, it's not going to work at the gate. We will see crowds well south of 10,000 in Nassau this October. When this place opens, and it's empty, Dolan, his partners, and Scott Malkin will want this team sold/moved with NHL. Revenue is everything, and Bettman has been beyond patient with a franchise not pulling their financial weight since before he even became commissioner. The lease details will likely be hidden but forget the days of this team being in those iron-clad leases in Nassau/Smg from mid-80's through 2015. When they fail this time, the franchise will be history very fast.