The development of the Lighthouse project has been on going for years now. Charles Wang, owner of the Islanders, has invested millions upon millions of dollars into this project. For those of you who have not heard of the project check out this site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lighthouse_Project.
However, it seems to not matter any more. Kate Murray has been the one holding up this project as we have all been waiting to hear from her. There have been a ton of Town Meetings, but Kate Murray was no where to be found at any of them. The project has been approved at every level by wide margins. Everybody seems on-board for this project, except Kate Murray.
Yesterday she came out with a press release stating that she is encouraging the residents of the Town of Hempstead to back her in the development of the Coliseum alone. The only problem with that is that Charles Wang is losing money each year with the Islanders, so this will do him no good. In fact, it will not do any good if anyone wanted to even buy the Islanders because no one is going to be willing to spend money only to lose more. If anyone else purchased this team it would almost guarantee a move.
Murray claims that she is a fan of the Islanders and is devoted to keeping them on Long Island. However, it seems as if she doesn’t even know anything about them. In her press release she stated that she is “urging the county to score the Coliseum’s biggest victory since the Islanders 1984 Stanley Cup Championship.” The Islanders won the Stanley Cup in 1984? Did I miss something? Was the drive for five actually a success? For some reason I kept reading something about the Edmonton Oilers winning that year…weird.
The entire Lighthouse project was going to be 100% paid for by Charles Wang. He was willing to spend every penny of the multi-billion dollar project by himself. Now Kate Murray is asking the residents of the Town of Hempstead to back her in building a new arena where they would need to use tax payers money to build it? Yeah, that sounds like a great idea.
The development of the Lighthouse project was going to allow for thousands of permanent jobs in a desperate time for employment. It was going to generate tax revenues. It was going to attract new business. It was going to provide housing alternatives for Long Island to help keep the youth here. It was going to create a destination on Long Island, something different. Most importantly though, the project would keep the New York Islanders on Long Island.
Kate Murray seems to be one of the very few not on board with this project and it seems like politicians in New York can never just get it right. I can only hope for the best from here on out. The Islanders create a pride on Long Island and Kate Murray better not destroy it.