Islanders owner prefers leaving Nassau Coliseum early
New York Islanders owner Charles Wang said he would favor moving the team to Brooklyn one season earlier than planned, and ripped politicians who tried to stop the move.
The Islanders are expected to move to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center starting in the 2015-16 once the lease on the Nassau Coliseum expires. Wang said he has talked to the arena’s developer and would honor the lease if they had to. The Islanders have played in the arena since 1972.
Nassau County has said they want to downsize the 16,000-seat arena to between 8,000 and 12,000 seats to attract more family shows, concerts and minor league sports.
“But government works in very strange ways many times, and some of them we don’t understand what the result is. We are committed to fulfill our lease. “If it makes sense for everyone, obviously we would,” Wang said to Newsday.
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Nassau has received four bids to redevelop the Coliseum, including from the Madison Square Garden Co., Syosset developer Ed Blumenfeld and one from Ratner, who has said his bid includes an “iconic design” that would “create a Nassau like never before.” The Dolan family holds controlling interest in the Madison Square Garden Co., and owns Cablevision, Newsday’s parent company.