As an ardent and life-long Islanders’ fan and a resident of Nassau County, I need to express my disdain for the lack of effort put forth by Ed Mangano, the Executive of Nassau County, and Kate Murray, the Town of Hempstead Supervisor, to either replace or renovate the Nassau County Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Over the course of the last 40 years, the Islanders have brought Long Island glory by winning four consecutive Stanley Cups. The team became a big part of the tapestry of Long Island and have a multitude of on-going community activities.
The Nassau County Veterans Memorial Coliseum must become a central recreational and economic focal point for Nassau County and Long Island. As all of you are aware, Long Island has a plethora of attractions, but in order to be a major player again, the Coliseum must be renovated or replaced. I am a season ticket holder for the Islanders and in reality, I do not find too much wrong with the Coliseum—the building has some of the best sight lines in the NHL—but it's time for a new or improved venue.
I do understand that there is some trepidation regarding the cost of such a project, due to the current state of the economy. However, it takes visionary people to navigate these times, to have the foresight to study and look at the big picture, and then formulate success for the future. To that end, the renovation/replacement of the Coliseum will keep jobs in Nassau and create new jobs during either the project. If the Islanders leave, not only will jobs be lost, but so will considerable tax revenue.
Nassau County politics are an interesting creature. When the Lighthouse Project was at the forefront, the Republicans of the legislature were against it. Now that there are Republicans running the county, the Democrats are finding reason to kill the Coliseum. To quote Mr. Spock, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Sadly, politicians serve only their needs.
The cities of Pittsburgh and Kansas City have new facilities. Winnipeg, Edmonton and Quebec City are in the process of getting new buildings. What about Nassau County? We are supposed to be one of the more affluent areas in the country. I think our leaders think small.
Finally, you must take a look at history. Think of the following names, their connections, and how history portrays them: Robert Wagner, former Mayor of New York City; Horace Stoneham, former owner of the New York Giants baseball team; Walter O’Malley, the former owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers; Robert Moses, former New York City Parks Commissioner. Aso Norman Green, the former owner of the Minnesota North Stars, who moved his team to Dallas overnight, as did Robert Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, who moved his team overnight with moving trucks.
The aforementioned names are not held in the best of light; some going on more than five decades. o not let history repeat itself. Think of the future, and remember the words of Herb Brooks, coach of the gold medal winning 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team,“Great moments are born from great opportunity.”
So, take this opportunity to do something positive for the people of Long Island, who also happen to be your constituents. I do understand the politics, but all parties involved need to stop the posturing, including Mr. Wang, who is part of the tapestry that makes Long Island special. The three parties need to look at the large picture and put aside their petty grievances and move forward.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!