Ever since Bruce Ratner was awarded the ability to develop the Nassau Coliseum and most of the surrounding land, a lot of Islander fans were holding out hope that the Islanders could somehow find their way back to Uniondale because of Ratners affiliation with both venues. Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano provided fuel for these peoples fire last week during his state of the county address when discussing the Islanders. Mangano said that the team would have new corporate offices constructed in Cantiague Park in Hicksville. Additionally, he hoped that Ratners Coliseum would get the attention of the NHL in hopes of bringing the team back.
— Robert Brodsky (@BrodskyRobert) March 11, 2015
Last week, my THW colleague Pete Judge discussed why he felt this still showed their was hope for Nassau. While I would really love to share in Petes optimism, I just don’t see it.
In this day and age, sports is all big business, pricey club seats, and suites. There are far more of those in Brooklyn than there are in the Coliseum, especially when it comes to suites. There is over 120 suites in Brooklyn, while there is roughly 40 in the Coliseum. Additionally, the Islanders have a pretty favorable lease with the Barclays Center that pays them millions of dollars per season. While the Barclays Center has a clause to opt out of their lease agreement with the Islanders after 5 years, I would be very surprised if it gets exercised. One day, we all hope and pray that the injustice that has been forced upon us with the Islanders moving due to political incompetence is reversed. I may not see it happening anytime soon, but crazier things have happened.
Really Trusting Politicians?
While we all want to hold out hope about the team returning, we need to remember who is saying this information. This is coming from a politician who is up for election this year. As well all know, politicians are liars at heart, just doing what they need to do to further their own agenda. Additionally, these are the same groups that messed around for decades instead of doing what they needed to do to keep the Islanders in the only home they ever knew. So why exactly should we believe them now when they don’t exactly have the most sparkling of track records? It is a real shame that they are trying to take advantage of Isles fans one last time when going up for re-election, as if they haven’t already done enough to them.
What I think is far likelier to happen, assuming Ratners plan for the Coliseum goes through is that the Islanders AHL affiliate from Bridgeport will move to the Coliseum. Ratner hinted at this a few years ago when he was first awarded the project. This will bring the team’s top prospects a little closer to the parent club in Brooklyn and give Islander fans who may not have the ability to get to Brooklyn as much as they would like a way to stay connected with the team after the move. If you are wondering about the Sound Tigers lease in Connecticut, it is a little different from your typical lease. While the Islanders are forced to play every game at the Coliseum, with Bridgeport, an AHL team just has to play at the arena, not necessarily the Sound Tigers.
This is Home
No matter what ultimately happens with the Coliseum and the team moving back, one thing will always be certain. For die-hard fans like myself, the Coliseum will always be home.