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So, how much did Barclays Center pay the Islanders? $53.5 million? $45 million? $37.5 million?

In the unusual deal between the Barclays Center and the Islanders, in which the arena takes over the team's business arrangements in exchange for tickets, suites, and sponsorship revenue, the base payment from the arena to the team is supposed to be $53.5 million.

That's not what Barclays paid the Islanders, however, because there's a $2 million annual license fee required of the Islanders, plus additional costs described, variously, as "certain actual expenses and costs," "certain non-game day operating costs," "expense reimbursements," an "operating expense reimbursement," and "certain adjustments."

It's not so easy to get a consistent or definitive number. Though Newsday previously reported what seems to be the most accurate figure--$37.5 million--it's worth seeing the way the number has been presented.

$45 million, from Official Statement?

Consider: according to the screenshot below from the August 2016 Official Statement provided to potential arena bond investors, the arena paid the Islanders $53.5 million, minus operating costs of $6.7 million, as well as that annual $2 million license fee. "

The text does not make it clear whether the "operating expense reimbursement" is separate from the operating costs subtracted from the arena payment or not. But it leaves the impression that the arena paid slightly under $45 million.


Another part of the Official Statement indicates various payback:
The Islanders ramp up expenses that began in Year 3 and continued throughout Year 4 were offset in Year 4 by the recoupment of Executive and Dedicated Islanders Staff expenses by Islanders ownership. 
$45 million, from Official Statement market study?

The screenshot below from the market study--from consultant Conventions, Sports & Leisure--included in the Official Statement cites the $2 million rent payment, the $53.5 million guarantee, and some $6.5 million in expense reimbursements.

Again, that leaves the impression that the arena paid about $45 million.



$37.5 million?

By contrast, the screenshot below, from a December 2016 report on annual arena financial results indicates that the annual payment, net of direct sales and management costs, was $37.5 million, as Newsday first reported 1/30/17. That's a $7.5 million difference.



So what's the difference between those two numbers?

Arena spokesman Joe DePlasco, responding to my queries, said it was a deduction for sales tax and rent. 

But I couldn't get any clarity on why that wasn't fully or consistently explained in other documents.

So a potential investor relying on the Official Statement might feel a little under-informed, at best.

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