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Referendum on New York Islanders Arena

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.

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: charles+wang, nassau+coliseum, referendum



this is an epic failure of Nassau County voters.  As someone who voted Yes, and someone who is a Rangers fan, I see this as just another example of stupid short sightedness of the voters.  Goodbye Long Island, hello Brooklyn.

Posted by bsalamon on 08/02/11 at 01:36 AM ET

pensfan29's avatar

Im sad to live in Nassau today. It took 30 seconds to vote. Such a shame

Posted by pensfan29 on 08/02/11 at 01:50 AM ET


The Arena belongs in Brooklyn or Queens.  The Suburban Arena is a Dodo bird.  Young people and business people like cities and the lively atmosphere around them.. They can build another empty shopping mall where the Coliseum is.  the suburbs were a dream of the post WW2 generation that have become a boring prison for their grand children and great grand children.  The brooklyn Arena will have easy access. it’s already built and needs a hockey team.  It’s a no brainer.  For those Long Islanders afraid to come to the city, it’s not your Grandpa’s city anymore.  Come take a look it’s a lot more exciting than a parking lot in Uniondale.

Posted by 13 user names on 08/02/11 at 02:51 AM ET


Also if they win the old Mausoleum will be full.  These sports leagues have become a joke, obsessed more with arenas than the teams that play in them.  Why don’t they knock down Wrigley field and Fenway Park?  The fan is just a patsy.  Look at the empty seats in Yankee Stadium.  What fan can pay 1200 bucks to sit behind home plate?  And the taxpayers are expected to subsidize this foolishness.  Just read the quotes above, they use the fans love for the team and the sport to get taxpayer funded arenas that the fan cannot afford to go to.  Wake up the whole country is a joke everyone is convinced they need to go into debt to get what they want right now.  Wait til you can’t pay your mortgage then Wang and his Islanders won’t seem too important.

Posted by 13 user names on 08/02/11 at 03:03 AM ET

pensfan29's avatar

You call Brooklyn or the place in Queens “lively areas”. You have no idea what they look like. The place in Queens where it was rumored to go is more secluded than Nassau Coliseum is now! You have zero clue what you’re talking about

Posted by pensfan29 on 08/02/11 at 09:53 AM ET


I’m a hockey fan, but I would have voted “no” for two reasons:

—The economic benefits of big sports arenas and stadiums are vastly overblown. The revenues never cover the costs. They don’t create new economic activity; they cannibalize it from elsewhere. So while I’m a sports fan, I’m not a fan of public funding. As businesses, sports teams should stand on their own two feet.

—Charles Wang is an absolute joke of an owner. He’s never shown the slightest trace of competence. Even if I were inclined to hand public funds over to a sports franchise, why should I give them to someone who’s almost certain to fail?

Posted by jvwalt on 08/02/11 at 10:09 AM ET


What’s going to happen by 2015?

Wang’s not going to own the team anymore. I highly doubt he’s going to stick around for 3 or 4 more years of losses, which will open the way for someone competent to come in and either move the team somewhere else or run it well enough to actually make people in the region give two bleeps about it again.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 08/02/11 at 11:00 AM ET


2000 jobs will be list, instead of adding an additional 1000 jobs. Not to mention the added tax revenue, and development of what is perhaps one of the ugliest areas I have ever seen on Long Island. 
This isn’t a vanity project for some over-the-top owner like Jerry Jones, this is a needed project for the people of Long Island.

Posted by bsalamon on 08/02/11 at 11:18 AM ET


Yeah, 400 million in tax revenue for 3000 jobs.  So, around 133k in tax revenue to prop up each ‘job’, of which probably a minimum of 2/3rds are part time jobs working in the service aspects of arena ops.

Would throwing nearly half a billion bucks of public money at Nassau, Wang and the Islanders make that area nicer?  Sure.

Are there better places to spend nearly half a billion bucks in future tax revenue? Probably.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 08/02/11 at 12:20 PM ET


At least Wang saved $2.2 million since he agreed to cover the cost of the vote if Yes won.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 08/02/11 at 02:54 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I wonder what the team name and logo will be changed to when they move to QC? For such a storied organization, this is ridiculous.

Posted by mrfluffy from the phone, calling Detroit, telling them it's on 08/02/11 at 03:21 PM ET


I wonder what the team name and logo will be changed to when they move to QC? For such a storied organization, this is ridiculous.

If Wang can’t make money with a sports team in NY, he sure as Hell can’t make money with one in much smaller QC. He could sell the team, obviously, but that would, necessarily put it back in the hands of someone less incompetent, who would still have a better shot at $$$ keeping it in New York somewhere.

Posted by steviesteve on 08/02/11 at 04:14 PM ET


You call Brooklyn or the place in Queens “lively areas”.

So you’ve been to Queens, have you seen what is happening around the Barclay arena. Downtown Boorklyn with the overflow of Wall Street and publishing money in Park Slope et al has more going for it than many places in America. This is place not too far from multi-million dollar brownstones and a mixed hipster yuppie enclave with money to spend.

And nothing is more secluded than a parking lot in Hempstead.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 08/03/11 at 01:26 PM ET

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