Big news on the future of the New York Islanders, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie:
NYI owner Charles Wang in talks to sell majority stake in NHL franchise. Nothing done yet, no telling if it gets done, but talks underway.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 28, 2014
Wang, 69, became part-owner of the Isles in 2000, then assumed majority control in 2004 after buying out partner Sanjay Kumar. The team has struggled both on the ice and financially since Wang’s been aboard, making the playoffs just two times while reportedly losing an estimated $10 million per season.
The Islanders are slated to move to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center beginning in the 2015-16 campaign, which would end their occupancy on Long Island, a place Wang has a long history with. He spearheaded the now-defunct Lighthouse Project — a proposal to transform the Nassau Coliseum and surrounding area into a modern suburban locale — which was voted down in 2011, two years after Wang said he regretted buying the Isles in the first place.
“If I had the chance I wouldn’t do it again,” Wang told Newsday at the time. “Never in my life, would I have anticipated this thing [Lighthouse Project] could be dragged out for seven, eight years.”
The timing of these proposed sale talks are interesting, as Wang and the Islanders are reportedly due to make a $75 million loan repayment at the end of this season.
It’s also worth noting this isn’t the first time claims have surfaced suggesting Wang was looking to sell the team. In 2012, the New York Post reported the Isles were available to be purchased… for an estimated $300 million.