NHL: New York Islanders Deserve the Lighthouse

Brian KarpelContributor IJuly 16, 2010

Last night I watched the latest in the NHL Network's series "Raising The Cup," which featured Game Four of the 1983 Stanley Cup Finals. 

I felt frozen in time! 

To see the atmosphere at the Coliseum that night brought back such amazing memories. Fans trying to storm the ice, Billy Smith being ushered into the Islanders locker room for his own safety. 

Absolute pandemonium! 

The building has not rocked like that since that May night in 1983.

So here we are 27 years later. The team is rebuilding for the tenth time and battling to renovate its home to modern standards. The Town of Hempstead pretty much ripped Charles Wang's vision for the Lighthouse Project to shreds on Monday.

So where do the Islanders go from here? 

The Shinnecock Nation got Federal recognition on Wednesday, could this be the ticket for the Lighthouse to go on as planned? 

That's still years and hurdles away. Their main focus seems to be in the Hamptons, not in Nassau County. 

Does this spell the end to Nassau County's only major professional sports franchise?

Here's a memo to Kate Murray, this project would only benefit the Islanders 42 nights a year. It will benefit commerce and housing in Nassau County 365 days a year for generations to come! 

Why are you fighting this so hard? Financing can be worked out. 

As a current resident of South Florida, I have just seen a similar scenario played out over the past ten years.

The Florida Marlins went to the state of Florida on three separate occasions to request funding for a new stadium. They got turned down twice and the third time the Legislature closed its session without even addressing it. 

So what did they do?

They went to plan B—the Marlins upped their ante and worked it out with the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County (they were also aided by the University of Miami turning down renovations to the Orange Bowl which gave the city found money and land for the project). 

The new ballpark is under construction and will be ready for opening day 2012.

That was a ten-year battle that included a threat of the Marlins leaving town. 

Their threat was as serious as the rumours going around that the Islanders are heading for Kansas City! 

So again, what are the options? Citi Field?

How many times are the Mets and the City going to try to relocate the junkyards on 126th Street? 

It hasn't happened yet and Shea Stadium has come and gone! 

Barclays Center?

Hmmm move over, Jay-Z, your old roommates from Nassau County could be bunking with you yet!

Logistically that probably makes the most sense. But something is just not right. 

Four Stanley Cups, four parades down Hempstead Turnpike. That's Islanders lore; that's where Islanders history still needs to be made. 

I just can't fathom Kyle Okposo and John Tavares leading a parade with the cup down...uh...Flatbush Avenue???

Mr. Wang and Ms. Murray need to hammer this out. 

Nassau County is where the Islanders belong. The Big Barn on Hempstead Turnpike needs a face lift so its rafters could be filled with more laundry!




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