New York Islanders: Nassau County Just About Seals Its Fate for the Islanders

Mike Blazowski@@MikeBlazowskiAnalyst IFebruary 14, 2012

UNIONDALE, NY - AUGUST 01: Owner Charles Wang the New York Islanders addresses the media to announce that the new arena voter referendum failed on August 1, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. Wang has said that without a new arena, he may have no choice but to move the team out of Nassau County.  (Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images)
Andy Marlin/Getty Images

On February 13, Nassau County legislators met to discuss the plans for the development of the Nassau hub...again.

And again, Nassau County legislators came to the conclusion of...well, just about nothing, once again proving the entire commitment to the Islanders and the Nassau Coliseum is nothing but a sham, a centralized group of people caring for nothing more than personal gain.

They sat around as they've done countless times before in the last decade, speaking of how "something must be done soon" for the thousandth something time, and in the end walked out, no where further toward development than they have in the past decade. Nowhere.

And as for the developers who will apparently receive the project, their most recent comments have also been less than enthusiastic.

The leader of the development for the hub (Vince Polimeni) has blatantly stated:

"Make the assumption they are leaving, their lease is up in two years."

He went on to say probably the single most ridiculous thing I've heard in the 10 years this has been going on:

"We will then pursue other teams that are out there and may want to relocate to the Island because it's a great spot."

I'm not sure if Mr. Polimeni has been living under a rock on the North Shore, but after the antics that Nassau County has had Mr. Wang go through, the poor support he received in basic maintenance of the Coliseum, and in general a ton of ridiculousness, it is almost guaranteed not a single reasonable sports team owner will even give Nassau County a thought, new building or not.

UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 11:  John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders in action against the Los Angeles Kings on February 11, 2012 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Kings 2-1 in overtime.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images



One must take into consideration that Mr. Wang has been given a private window of time to present to the county plans for his own privately financed development of the area, which hopefully means that he will submit a plan (yet again) for a new Coliseum and development of the area. If there is any chance of the Islanders staying in Nassau, I'd hinge it on plans being submitted and approved before the end of the year.

It seems for now though, barring a miracle of cooperation between the county circus politicians, Mr. Wang and the town of Hempstead's own three-ring extravaganza that the Coliseum hub is doomed to be a boat expo center with some extra condos I'm sure being put up around it; maybe even another mall.

The county and the politicians have done their very best to waste enough time and other peoples' money up until now to make themselves the biggest joke of a place that once owned one of the most successful expansion teams in NHL history.

Unless Nassau gets its act together very quickly and comes up with a decent plan to completely overhaul the Coliseum or build a new one within the next say three to five months, they can kiss the Islanders goodbye.

Mr. Wang is now open to anyone (even those outside the metro area) willing to house his team. Brooklyn's Barclay's Center has been knocking at his door and even nailed a preseason game between the Isles and Devils next season. Yes, it's slightly smaller, but it has public transportation access and it brand new, so it could bring the Islanders there for good.

If this is any indication of the level of commitment that the developers have to the ONLY professional sports team that is left in the area, then the future looks pretty dim at this point unless they can act quickly. And if not, Nassau doesn't deserve the revenue of the team, the time of the fans or the Islanders logo on its building.