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Nassau County Voters Will Decide The Future Of The Islanders

from Katie Baker of Grantland.com,

On the surface it’s a no-brainer: NO WAY. Why should taxpayers — especially in already-taxed-to-the-max Nassau County and especially in this dismal economy — finance the construction of a new building for some hockey organization that is, according to the players themselves, the very worst in the league? Why, to use the unfair but telling logic of the New York Daily News, would anyone make a “$400 mil gift to billionaire Charles Wang,” the Islanders’ owner? Why doesn’t he raise the money himself?

But it isn’t that simple. Take a step back and you’ll see that this proposed bond isn’t merely a gratuitous cash grab by a greedy creep of an owner. It’s not an extraneous vanity project, or even an aspirational move. It’s more of a last gasp after a decade of false starts, shifting alliances, and stonewalled solutions — the sad culmination of a half-century of proud, local political gridlock that threatens to drive the team somewhere else and ultimately, lead to the demolition of the arena altogether.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink


OlderThanChelios's avatar

Actually Wang’s net worth is listed by Forbes at $890 million. Now, there’s no getting around the fact that that’s a lot of money. But (a) it’s not a billion dollars and (b) it’s not “liquid assets” that he can directly convert into cash.

The stereotypical “he’s a billionaire so he should do whatever we think he should do” nonsense is just another example of Obama-style liberal thinking that is designed to do nothing more than create chaos among the majority of us. As the owner of a hockey team, Wang is a businessman, not a philanthropist.

If the destitute residents of Long Island don’t want to support a hockey team, just say no to the new facility. I’m sure Buttman will be more than happy to move the team to a hotbed of hockey, like Las Vegas or New Orleans or Jamaica. smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/28/11 at 08:06 PM ET

KohoDonuts88's avatar

The Islanders have Brian Rolston now.  That type of superstar attraction will surely tip the vote.

Posted by KohoDonuts88 from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada on 07/28/11 at 08:15 PM ET

cs6687's avatar

Just get Trevor Gillies to stand outside the polls on Monday for voter intimidation.

Posted by cs6687 on 07/28/11 at 08:22 PM ET


The Islanders have Brian Rolston now.  That type of superstar attraction will surely tip the vote.

Posted by KohoDonuts88 from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada on 07/28/11 at 07:15 PM ET

Don’t forget Nabokov…oops he’s in Russia…..

Posted by FlyersFan on 07/28/11 at 08:36 PM ET

Primis's avatar

OTC, it’s not politcial—too many people just have no concept of wealth and what it means.  They think Net Worth means they have that money as cash in their pockets…

You see millionaires with lots of assets and lots of freedom with them thrive, while billionaires without as much freedom with their assets struggle and flounder.

Net worth really is a very small thing in the grand scheme of it.  McCourt supposedly had huge net worth and we all see how that’s turned out for the Dodgers…

Posted by Primis on 07/29/11 at 12:42 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

McCourt supposedly had huge net worth and we all see how that’s turned out for the Dodgers…

He had nothing, and essentially bought the Dodgers using the Dodgers as collateral.


It’s a long read…but…and we’re getting OT.

Posted by mrfluffy from the phone, calling Detroit, telling them it's on 07/29/11 at 01:49 AM ET


Wang offered to re-build the Coliseum if he were allowed to develop the property around it. Makes sense that if he were giving the County a new stadium he would want a chance to make a profit.  The County who owns the property said yes to his development proposal, the town that had the zoning rights said no. Now he is asking that the owner of the building to re-build it or as a tenant he is moving since he is not going to be able to develop the surrounding suburban blight of a parking lot.  This has never been about the Coliseum, but who gets to develop the property around it and has been holding the Islanders hostage for the past 20 years.

Depending on who is in office, the Democrats and Republicans have both nixed the deal; the Republicans at the town level when it was privately funded and now the Democrats now that it is publicly funded through bonds and payback by Wang through a long-term lease at the County level. So Long Island politics are the worse of all worlds, both party driven and petty in a bankrupt county that doesn’t even control its own finances. Taxes will go up approx $13 per household if the bond money were directly re-paid and $16 per household are predicted to be lost if the Coliseum closes, but those numbers are played with depending on whether you want people to vote yes or no.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 07/29/11 at 09:52 AM ET

awould's avatar

I thought Kukla’s Korner was the last corner of the internet where things weren’t reflexively blamed on Obama and the naive Liberal or the monolithic GOP and their hatred of poor people.  Please do not bring politics to this website, it will only make things worse.

Posted by awould on 07/29/11 at 12:57 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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