All of this talk seems extremely preliminary, but perhaps there is something to it. There have been rumors over the past couple of days involving either the Mets buying the Islanders, or simply the Mets building an arena next to Citi Field that would house the Islanders and perhaps a Major League Soccer team as well.
Here is the New York Daily News with more:
Those involved on both sides categorized the possibility as “a long shot” and “still in the early stages,” but Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon has held talks with Islanders owner Charles Wang about possibly building a new arena for the NHL team in Queens.
“We’ve had discussions with the Islanders - in addition to those we’ve had with Major League Soccer – about building a sports/entertainment facility near Citi Field,” the Mets said.
Without speaking to the Wilpon's, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city would be open to such a move. But he also warned that Wang might be using the Mets and Queens as leverage to expedite approval of his long-standing Lighthouse Project to renovate Nassau Coliseum and develop its surrounding land. Neither Wang nor Lighthouse spokespeople returned calls seeking comment.
“I haven’t talked to the Wilpon's yet. I will,” Bloomberg said. “I don’t know whether it’s just the owner or the team negotiating, using us as a negotiating ploy out on Long Island.
“You know, I’d love to have more teams move here. It’d be great.”
Thoughts: Like I said, this seems extremely preliminary so I won’t be getting into this too much. Also, I think it is likely that Bloomberg is right when he said that this could just be a negotiating tactic by Wang and the Islanders to leverage a new arena out on Long Island. If it is not, this is great news as I am of the belief that the more teams in New York City, the better.
I’ll keep you posted if there are any updates on this, and in the meantime, why not discuss this? What are your thoughts on the Islanders moving to Flushing? Even if you don’t care about hockey, a huge sports complex next to Citi could be pretty cool, right?
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