It almost seems a bit unfair to beat up on the New York Islanders front office, roster and even their aging (to put it kindly) arena. Call it kicking a dead horse if you want, but it’s more than a bit sad to see a one-time dynasty in such dire straits.
That’s exactly how you would describe their long-time building known as the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, though. Chris Botta reports that the Islanders organization has reportedly requested $4 million in repairs from Nassau County, which owns the crumbling arena.
Botta points out that the timing of the request might be described as awkward because the team and region await voting on a public referendum that will approve or reject a $350 million plan for a new Coliseum on August 1. That being said, the $4 million request might be more reasonable when you consider the discouraging problems that are plaguing the facility, which Botta describes below.
The majority of seats in the 100 level of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and the mechanism that enables the sections to slide in and out based on the event, are a disaster. Hundreds of seats are damaged, broken beyond repair and unsafe.
The roof of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which has been patched up with temporary sealants and tape since before Ziggy Palffy came to play, has a whole new batch of leaks. As a result, seating areas and aisles continue to be dangerous.
The refrigeration system that creates the playing surface for New York Islanders hockey games at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is barely functional, and can break down on any given day. According to a league source, the Coliseum ice was rated by NHL players the last two seasons among the three worst – despite the Islanders recently spending more than $500,000 in repairs. Not good for player safety.
Botta notes that officials can vote on the $4 million request on Monday or “put it off for another day,” which might eventually force Islanders owner Charles Wang to pay for the repairs himself (which he has reportedly done before). Hopefully the Islanders and people in that area can look back at these times and laugh because these are some very dark times for a once-proud franchise.
(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)