Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: charles wang
Via Sports Illustrated, New York Islanders owner Charles Wang is finally--albeit slowly and surely, to Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin--relinquishing control of the team he's allowed to languish for the past 14 years, all while being sued by a second party, hedge fund manager Andrew Barroway, for reneging on a second deal to sell the team.
Given Wang's wacky ways (see: the repeated attempts to tie renovating Nassau Coliseum or build a new rink based upon the "Lighthouse Project's" various guises), it's surprising but not shocking to find that Fortune Magazine's David Primack and Daniel Roberts report that Wang had been working on selling the Islanders to a third group, too:
Apparently unbeknownst to Barroway, Fortune has learned that Wang also was negotiating to sell the team to a Boston-based investment firm called Peak Ridge Capital. Not beginning in March, but several months earlier.
The ultimate agreement would have valued the team at $508 million — Peak Ridge originally had offered around $30 million less — with Wang sending Peak Ridge a purchase and sale agreement that in many sections is identical to the one sent to Barroway (it is worth noting that Peak Ridge would have been aware of Barroway’s attempts to purchase the team, as it had been leaked to the media). Part of the Peak Ridge group included a former NHL player, who likely would have run hockey operations.
Would-be Islanders suitor Charles Barroway is suing current Islanders owner Charles Wang for $10 million after Wang reneged on the sale of the soon-to-be-Brooklyn-based team, and the New York Times' Richard Sandomir went so far as to pen an editorial-style article suggesting that Wang's--well, let's be honest here--awful stewardship of the team merits all but a moral imperative to sell the team to someone who can competently manage it.
This morning, the New York Post's Josh Kosman reports that Barroway's lawsuit involves someone with an intriguing tie to a certain sport's commissioner, and that commissioner now finds himself in a sticky situation:
An adviser working for the hedge-fund manager who sued the New York Islanders for reneging on a deal to sell him the team is NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s half-brother, The Post has learned.
Andrew Barroway hired Jeffrey Pollack several months ago after reaching a handshake deal to buy the club from owner Charles Wang for $420 million, sources said.
Wang and Bettman are believed to be pals.
And in addition to reporting that Barroway had difficulty actually coughing up the cash to purchase the team, Kosman reports that Wang increased the asking price for the team substantially (and many suspect that Wang did so after the Los Angeles Clippers sold for a billion dollars):
from Richard Sandomir of the New York Times,
Wang knew little about hockey and made some bizarre decisions, including elevating Garth Snow, a backup goaltender, to general manager, according to Mike Milbury, a former general manager, and wanting to get rid of the team’s scouts. Milbury recalled two years ago that Wang had wanted to try out sumo wrestlers in the crease.
Wang inherited a losing team, and experienced some improvement, but he still has a losing team.
That Wang still owns the team is surprising. He banked on the Islanders’ being in a new or refurbished arena long ago, but no matter what the plan, it never worked out.
He did not move the team to possible getaway cities like Kansas City, Mo.; Quebec City; Hamilton, Ontario; or Seattle. Maybe he should have picked one and made some of his money back.
In 2003, he let me read documents that pegged the team’s losses in his first three years of ownership at $52.2 million. “It’s uncomfortable to lose money having worked so hard to make it,” Wang said at the time. “I’m investing, in one sense. The team has to be self-sustaining. This is not a church that will stay open forever.”
But it has. By 2009, Wang told Newsday that his losses had climbed to $209 million. The total is probably close to $300 million by now.
Patience has only brought Wang fiscal grief. It’s time for a new owner to try to lose less money.
from Barbara Ross of the New York Daily News,
New York Islanders owner Charles Wang was clocked with a $10 million lawsuit Monday by suitor Andrew Barroway for backing out of their deal to make a trade for $420 million.
In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Barroway’s corporation, NY ICE claims the parties “shook their hands on an agreement” and NY Ice started to line up NHL approval and financing.
However, Wang “without notice, abruptly refused to proceed to close the transaction and honor the terms of their 70-page purchase agreement but instead “improperly sought to renegotiate the already agreed upon price” in March.
In midsummer, according to court papers, Wang demanded $548 million for the team. When Barroway refused, Wang notified him on Aug. 1 that he had sold the team to other bidders.
via the New York Islanders,
New York Islanders Owner, Charles Wang statement regarding recent reports of selling his majority stakes in the franchise.
In recent months, there have been numerous expressions of interest in the purchase of the New York Islanders. As I have consistently stated, I have been and remain willing to listen. However, potential buyers expressions of interest in the team or even my listening to them does not mean that any deal will be reached.
I was perusing Twitter when I saw this:
Statement from Charles Wang this morning...
“I would like to thank all of the Nassau County residents who participated in the August 1st referendum. I am disappointed and heartbroken with the outcome. However, what I believe is every time a door closes, another one will open. I have lived on Long Island for almost 60 years and it is my home. I am not giving up on Long Island and I hope you won’t either.
The New York Islanders have a season to concentrate on with a team that is bursting with a young core of talent ,sprinkled with the right mix of veterans. This combination surely will deliver excitement, entertainment and victories. Additionally, we will continue to bring the best concerts and family shows for everyone to enjoy.
The New York Islanders were born on Long Island in 1972. As we enter our 40th year, we have only two goals for the team—winning the Stanley Cup and keeping the Islanders on Long Island.”
As a radio personality, I’m used to hearing people accuse the media of deliberately stirring the pot. It’s a common complaint, and a difficult one to refute, especially when you read columns like the one written today by Damien Cox regarding the future of the New York Islanders.
As you know, the Islanders’ request to bond money for a new arena was decisively shot down by the voters of Nassau County on Monday. According to Cox, the vote result was a clear indication of Long Island’s disdain for the team’s owner, Charles Wang:
It’s hard for an owner to become this toxic in a community, but Wang seems to have accomplished that. Fans won’t come to his team’s games — the average attendance of 11,059 was worst in the NHL last season — and the manner in which he has operated the club — signing Rick DiPietro to a 15-year contract, hiring a university to do radio broadcasts of the team’s games, selecting the team’s backup goalie to be the new general manager — has alienated many hardcore supporters….
Wang needs to excuse himself from the picture. The NHL may or may not work any longer on Long Island, but it certainly can’t work with him as the owner.
From Damien Cox at the Toronto Star:
It’s hard for an owner to become this toxic in a community, but Wang seems to have accomplished that. Fans won’t come to his team’s games — the average attendance of 11,059 was worst in the NHL last season — and the manner in which he has operated the club — signing Rick DiPietro to a 15-year contract, hiring a university to do radio broadcasts of the team’s games, selecting the team’s backup goalie to be the new general manager — has alienated many hardcore supporters.
That, in a bankrupt county in which a $58 per head tax increase to fund this arena project was viewed very negatively, produced the public sentiment that led to Monday’s vote.
It’s not so easy for Wang to step aside, of course, and finding a buyer for the Isles would be a challenge.
From Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank:
11:10 pm: With 45% of precincts in, NO leads by 58% to 42%.
10:35 pm: With 25% of precincts reporting, NO leads by 60% to 40%.
9:05 pm: The polls for the Islanders arena referendum have closed. It appears neither side will ask a judge to get involved with extending voting hours despite major delays for thousands of commuters on the Long Island Railroad.
The NYI current lease at Nassau Coliseum ends in 2015. Assuming the final tally will go with the ‘NOs’ what do you think happens now?
Update 11:48pm ET: Katie Strang at Newsday (quotes from her Twitter)—
-Mangano: Tonight not an ending, it’s a new beginning
-Mangano: I still believe in Sports Entertainment Destination….I’m so confident that we will find a way. A solution we shall find
-Wang said he will not address any specific plans/options at this point #Isles Wants to focus on upcoming season
-Isles owner Charles Wang at the podium: I have to tell you I’m disappointed and to put it bluntly, I’m heartbroken.
Update 11:53pm ET: More from Chris Botta here.
Update 12:04am ET (Aug 2): From NHL.com—
Nassau County residents voted down a $400 million referendum in Monday’s special election that could have led to the construction of a new home for the New York Islanders, according to The Associated Press.
With 62 percent of the vote reported, opponents of the referendum carried 58 percent of the vote.
Monday is voting day to decide the future of the NYI, but will the team really leave if citizens vote against a new arena? From Tom Van Riper at Forbes:
But is it necessarily a case of build it or they will leave? Despite owner Charles Wang’s insistence that his outdated Nassau Coliseum isn’t a viable option going forward, what else does he do? Everyone talks about the Kansas City Sprint Center, which is dying for a full time sports tenant, but sports business experts doubt that the Islanders could duplicate their $15 million in annual cable money in that market, despite their second class standing in New York. Canada could be a possibility – fans of the old Quebec Nordiques have been rallying for an NHL return- but any arena plan there is still a long way off.
“There just aren’t many markets that covet the NHL right now,” says Robert Boland, who teaches sports business at the Tisch Center at New York University.
Craig Custance of Sporting News also comments today on the stakes of Monday’s vote in this article.
For someone like me, who has covered the Tampa Bay Lightning for several seasons now, there has never been any shortage of rant-worthy material. The squabbles of previous ownership, atrocious on-ice performances, incessant (and often nonsensical) Vinny Lecavalier trade rumors and the curious case of Brian Lawton, if nothing else, made subject matter for the blog, wherever it has called home, easy to come by.
Starting with Steven Stamkos’ rise to NHL stardom last season and continuing with the breath of fresh air that new Lightning management has been, positive pieces have been writing themselves as well with increasing frequency.
All of this for me, of course, comes without any fan attachment, as I’ve never really had any rooting interest in the team to which I’ve been assigned by default. (I just sort of live here and have been able to eat a meal or two thanks to my hockey-related opinions being entertaining enough for someone to facilitate as much.) Granted, it’s far more pleasant to be around a team when they’re doing well so, maybe somewhere deep down, that’s what someone in my position might prefer but, really, so far as the Bolts go, I’ve always been of the take ‘em or leave ‘em mindset.
Whether they’re winning or not, however, doesn’t change the fact that I’ve grown quite comfortable on this particular beat – far more so, even than my first official go-round at this blogging thing, when I wrote, mostly for fun, about my childhood favorite New York Islanders. You see, I think that might be something that’s always played to my advantage with Tampa – there’s no fan mindset to skew my vision and little emotional attachment to provide any real blinders. (It’s also probably what’s helped find me trouble on occasion but that’s a story for another day.)
New York Islanders owner Charles Wang denounced a report Thursday saying he was ending efforts to build the Lighthouse Project.
“There’s no truth to the story,” Wang said in an interview Thursday morning. “It’s bogus. There are no plans to abandon the project.”
continued and that is why I did not post the story last night claiming the project was dead…
from Neil Best of Watchdog at Newsday,
Charles Wang to WFAN regarding the trials and tribulations of owning the Isles: “If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t do it.”
Not surprising, since he said the team is losing $25 to $30 million a year.
He also called the Nassau Coliseum as “dump.”
click for the link to listen to the audio interview…
Newsday.com published a story last night in which a former associate of NY Islanders’ owner Charles Wang alleges that Wang “personally directed improper accounting” at Computer Associates (CA) Inc., going back to 1987.
It’s a complicated story at first glance but fortunately Eric McErlain explains the background a bit clearer at AOL Fanhouse:
You could be excused these days if it seems to take something of a scorecard to determine just how many NHL owners might be in trouble with the law. Now it’s time for New York Islanders owner Charles Wang to reluctantly step into the spotlight.
Though many have forgotten, Wang didn’t buy the Islanders by himself in 2000. Rather, he did it with Sanjay Kumar, the protege that succeeded him as CEO of Computer Associates (CA) that same year. But the happy times didn’t last.
from Greg Logan of Newsday,
Neither Wang nor Snow was happy with Nolan when he expressed some concern near the end of the season about going into the final year of his three-year contract without an extension. But when Snow was asked if there’s any reason to believe Nolan won’t return, he said, “I don’t see any reason. He’s our coach.”
Snow said he expects to sit down with Nolan within the next week to discuss the past season and what lies ahead. Snow blamed the Islanders’ failure to make the playoffs on “a handful of players who didn’t play to their capabilities” and the fact they led the NHL in man-games lost to injuries.
From Mark Herrmann at On the Islanders Beat,
The next Yao? You never know, Charles Wang said today during the English language portion of his international news conference for Project Hope. One of those kids from China wearing a jersey with an Islanders logo could grow up to be the Yao Mingh of hockey.
That isn’t the intent of the initiative, organized by Wang four years ago to promote hockey in China. The real reason is just to do something for the part of the world in which he was born and to generally spread good will. But if one of the thousands of kids who are playing hockey now in Islanders-sponsored rinks makes it big, so be it. Wang would be gratified if some day one of the children from China who played on Coliseum ice this morning becomes president of China and says he recalls his first trip to the U.S. with warm feelings.
From Mark Herrmann at Newsday,
Far be it from me to tell anyone how to spend their $2 billion. So don’t look here for a quick yea or nay on the sweeping plan to completely redo Nassau Coliseum and develop the 77 acres around it.
What we can help with is to see the question behind the question, which is a biggie: Is Long Island the right place for a major-league sports team?
That is the $2-billion stumper we have to answer because a project such as the village proposed by Islanders owner Charles Wang and Scott Rechler is the cost of doing business in the big leagues these days.