New York Islanders New Stadium Proposal Rejected
August 2, 2011
National Hockey League’s (NHL) New York Islanders have failed to secure support to build a new US$400 million arena after voters rejected proposals.
The Islanders draw the fewest spectators in the NHL. The proposal to replace the 39-year-old Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island, was rejected with a majority vote of 57 percent, according to the Nassau County Board of Elections.
William Biamonte, the board’s commissioner, called it a “solid win” for opponents, though County Executive Edward Mangano said he isn’t giving up on a new arena.
Mangano said in a press conference: “Tonight is not an ending — it is a beginning. We will find a new path, a path that solves the problems and blockades to redeveloping this property.”
Charles Wang, who bought the Islanders in 2000 for around US$190 million, said he was “heartbroken” by the outcome of the vote. He expressed disappointment that voters did not see the proposal as “a move in the right direction for growth.”
“We’re not going to make any comments on any specific next steps,” said Wang, who had threatened to move the team if it did not get a new arena. “We’re committed to the Nassau Coliseum until the year 2015, and like we said we will honour our lease.”