Big day for NHL arena news.
First came a report out of Arizona that the Coyotes’ public financing plans could be in trouble.
Now comes another report that the New York Islanders may have a solution to their Barclays Center problem.
A supergroup of New York sports executives, including owners of the New York Rangers and the New York Mets, is lining up to invest in a new arena just outside of Queens for the National Hockey League’s Islanders, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The new arena proposal is a joint venture between the Islanders, Oak View Group and Sterling Project Development, said the people, who asked to be anonymous because the talks are private. James Dolan’s Madison Square Garden Co., which controls the Rangers, long the Islanders hated rivals, is an investor in Oak View Group, the private equity group run by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff. The Wilpon family, which owns the Mets, controls Sterling Project Development.
Bloomberg notes that NHL owners are allowed to “have a stake in another club’s arena,” so Dolan’s involvement shouldn’t be an issue with the league.
Commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed last month that the Isles’ owners were exploring their options beyond the team’s current home in Brooklyn.
“The owners are committed to the franchise, they’re committed to New York and the great fan base that has followed the Islanders,” said Bettman. “There are some issues about playing in Barclays that may be fundamental as to the ice system, and that’s not something that can be fixed in the short term. I think, as is prudent, Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky are reviewing the situation and looking very seriously at what their options are.”
According to Bloomberg, the current focus is on a site at Belmont Park in Elmont. For more on that, read Newsday’s story from July.