The Islanders are already set to bolt out of Nassau County Coliseum in 2015 as it is, and that separation isn’t about to go quietly.
New York Newsday reports that the Islanders and their management company, SMG, owe the county millions of dollars in back utility bills and revenue that the team is supposed to share with them.
In the report, the Isles may owe the county over $600,000 in rent and over $2.4 million in electric bills. The team also apparently hasn’t paid the county their cut for parking fees and concessions. Being that kind of tenant in an apartment would get you evicted.
If that sounds bad for the Isles, the county apparently isn’t so clean either as they may owe the team money themselves.
The letter states that Nassau may owe the Islanders and SMG for repairs the team has made to the county-owned Nassau Coliseum , the Islanders’ arena in Uniondale . But the letter to Picker, written by the county’s acting director of the Division of Real Estate Services, Michael J. Kelly, says the debts outpace anything the county might owe by at least $2 million.
What a great situation this is. Basically both sides know their time together is coming to an end and it’s time to figure out best how to conduct the divorce. Like most separations, this one seems doomed to a future in court to figure things out. Either way, the Isles probably can’t wait to get to Brooklyn.
It’s really happening in Quebec City.
Mayor Regis Lebeaume announced today that construction on their new $400 million arena will begin in September with hopes to have it completed by 2015. The only issue left now for Quebec City is to find a NHL team to put in the new place to call it home.
Canadian media giant Quebecor has the exclusive naming rights to the new building and will manage the facility and they also have big ideas about owning a NHL team as well. That kind of arrangement would work well to run a team in the former home of the Quebec Nordiques.
The one team that everyone turns their attention to in these situations is the Phoenix Coyotes and there are many who feel Quebec City should get first shot at bringing the Coyotes to town should the NHL seek to get out of Arizona. With the NHL reportedly looking into “Plan B” for what to do with the ownerless franchise, hopes are sky high in Quebec that their dream of bringing the NHL back to the city will become a reality.
It’s also quite the coincidence that the New York Islanders’ lease with Nassau Coliseum is up in 2015. If the Islanders aren’t forced out of the Coliseum before then by an asbestos investigation, Charles Wang may want to turn his gaze north to Quebec City instead of west to Brooklyn.
Sometimes playing at home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Case in point, the New York Islanders’ home rink at Nassau Coliseum is under fire for issues aside from being the oldest arena in the league.
As Lighthouse Hockey shares with us, it’s also being investigated for asbestos contamination thanks to a lawsuit from Nassau County workers. NBC New York explains what is going on.
As for the Islanders’ angle on this whole mess, aside from trying to get a new arena built or the talk of owner Charles Wang starting to look around at other solutions for the team, they want to see a full investigation completed.
“The Islanders expect that the building owner, Nassau county and the building facility manager, SMG will review the allegations and take any and all appropriate action. The safety of our fans, players and employees is paramount,” said the Islanders senior vice-president, Michael Picker.
The Islanders aren’t being sued at least as they’re just a tenant at the arena. Suffice to say, an asbestos health hazard, should there be one, would help Charles Wang find a way to get out of there before the team’s lease with the arena ends in 2015. Hey, maybe that preseason game in Brooklyn will be more than a test run for the team.
NBC New York has a video detailing the full story.