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Ratner, according to ESPN, can't promise Islanders games at new Nassau Coliseum, but developer remains confident reported 5/15/13 Sources: Battle over Isles brewing:
There's a potential battle brewing involving the New York Islanders and New York Rangers, and it isn't even on the ice.

A major selling point of Bruce Ratner's pitch to win the renovation rights to Nassau Coliseum is the promise to bring the Islanders back to the arena for a six-game slate after they move to Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

And while that would appear to be enticing to the Nassau County executives who are currently deciding among four bidders, it's not a promise Ratner necessarily can deliver.

According to multiple sources, both Madison Square Garden and the NHL would have to sign off on that scenario, and that is not guaranteed to happen.

Madison Square Garden, which owns the Rangers, is also among the four bidders.
While it's clear why MSG might disagree, why would the league? Because the Coliseum would hold only about 13,000 fans after renovations,rather than the current 17,686, and the Barclays Center would be the smallest arena, at 14,500 for hockey.

Then again, couldn't they just charge premium prices in Nassau?

The irony

Ratner's proposed deal is a bit strange, as a commenter on this blog observed:
Politics at its finest. While the team that put Long Island on the map is forced to move to Brooklyn, the very same developer is now vying to rebuild the coliseum. The Islanders will move to an undersized arena with unknown sight lines in Brooklyn and have their former home reduced in capacity by the same developer. Does any of this make sense? How about building a true home for the Islanders and let them stay where they belong. 
 Too late for that.

Ratner's response

As reported yesterday on IslandersPoint Blank,  Ratner, in a radio interview, expressed confidence the plan would work:
“The NHL has to approve it,” Ratner replied, dodging MSG’s possible involvement in the process. “Given the fact that the team has been there before, the fans are gonna want it, I’m sure [the NHL will] approve it.”

Previous to that, the Executive Chairman of Forest City Ratner also fielded a question about ‘stealing’ the Islanders. Host Tom Keene said a few Long Islanders had expressed to him a sentiment that Ratner and his group, now attempting to develop the Coliseum, were ‘stealing’ the Islanders by taking them to the Barclays Center and ‘abandoning’ Long Island.
“The opposite!” Ratner exclaimed in response. “Basically what you have is the Islanders would have left this state. Charles Wang is really a hero here in the sense that he got offers to buy that team and move them out of state. What we really did together is save them, here, for New York State and we’re only a Long Island Railroad ride away. It’s very easy to get to. On top of that we’re going to play six games in Nassau if we wind up doing the Coliseum.”
Why arenas? Entertainment, not sports

Also worth noting:
He also said that the main reason he and his group are getting into the arena business is because in the digital world, the future is live entertainment and live content.
So it's not about bringing sports to the people?

Among the comments;
"On the show, Ratner said that his group is “going to do the kind of architecture that we did at Barclays,” with the Coliseum. He also said that he felt the arena “is in a great location and it’s actually a pretty good arena in terms of sightlines, but it’s old.”
He's kidding right, the architecture they did in bklyn created a arena that has terrible sight lines for hockey compared to the Coliseum which isn't just "pretty good" it's probably among the best in the whole NHL, please mr ratner don't turn the Coliseum into a basketball gym like you have in bklyn.
Ratner of course meant exterior architecture, but his point is vulnerable to such criticism.

Another comment:

This is all a ploy so Wang can get out of the NVMC lease a year sooner. He plays nice with the politicians by getting on board with Ratner's refurbishing plan and promises to return to the NVMC to play 6 games, and in return he blows out of town a year earlier. I just wonder if Ratner's proposal is not accepted will Wang still get to leave after next season?, and would he still come back to the old barn to play 6 games anyway? I think as long as Wang gets to break the lease he doesn't care what happens to the NVMC. Hopefully he is prepping this team for sale so we can be done with him...
I think it's a safe bet that the Islanders will leave early.


  1. Anonymous4:30 PM

    The rusty outer facade of the Barclays stadium is hardly worth bragging about either. #IThoughtTheyWereGoingToPaintThat


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