There’s been plenty to talk about concerning the sale of the New York Islanders lately. From Charles Wang’s dealings with Andrew Barroway, to the sale of the team to former Washington Capitals owner Jon Ledecky, and the recent revelation there was even a third party involved as well.
Of course, the biggest part of the Islanders’ situation is their impending move to Brooklyn from Long Island.
Wang tried valiantly to refurbish Nassau Coliseum with his own money only to be rebuffed by Nassau County politicians. As Neil Best at Newsday shared, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman puts all the blame for the Islanders’ slight relocation on the government leaders who helped make it all possible.
“This is a situation that is not of the Islanders’ making,” Bettman said. “The responsibility for what’s happened really lies with Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead. For the fans in Nassau, not just of the Islanders, but of circuses and rock concerts and the like, it’s a shame.
“The great news is the Islanders have a terrific arena to go to and this is an exciting opportunity for the franchise moving forward.”
Barclay’s Center will make for a fancy new home for the Isles, but the heart of the team is still held on Long Island. Say what you will about Bettman, but he’s 100% on point here.
Never mind the part about how they wouldn’t allow Wang to spend his own money to fix up and improve the Coliseum along with the area around it, but also the County and Town’s workaround by putting a plan based around taxpayer money up for referendum that was then voted down.
It was a political comedy of errors in which the victims were the fans and the businesses around the Coliseum that relied on Islanders attendance to give them a lift. Now the Isles will call Brooklyn home next season and the fans will have to spend plenty of time on the train there and back thinking about how much it stinks to be that much further away from their favorite team.
It’s starting to look like New York Islanders owner Charles Wang had his hands full when looking for someone to buy the team.
According to Dan Primack at Fortune.com, Wang had a third party separate from Jon Ledecky, whom he sold the team to, and Andrew Barroway, who he’s now being sued by, he was negotiating with.
Apparently unbeknownst to Barroway, Fortune has learned that Wang also was negotiating to sell the team to a Boston-based investment firm called Peak Ridge Capital. Not beginning in March, but several months earlier.
According to Primack, Peak Ridge was aware of Wang’s negotiations with Barroway and they came in with a bid of around $478 million for the team. Peak Ridge also would’ve had a former NHL player involved to help run the operations. Let’s all ponder who that could’ve been had they won out.
Of course, Wang went away from Barroway after he balked at his final asking price of around $548 million. Peak Ridge’s CEO, like Barroway did before Wang upped the ante, thought he had a deal done. According to Fortune, Peak Ridge isn’t interested in suing Wang.
Negotiating with multiple interested parties doesn’t seem uncommon, but it doesn’t do much for having good faith in those talks if you’re playing them all against each other.
Ultimately Wang got what he wanted so he’s satisfied. Of course, if he winds up stuck paying millions to Barroway for legal costs he might think otherwise.
New York Islanders owner Charles Wang is finding out the hard way that trying to sell the team is a big headache.
According to Barbara Ross of the New York Daily News, Andrew Barroway has filed suit against Wang for $10 million for backing out of an agreement to sell the team to him for $420 million.
According to court documents, Barroway alleges the two sides had a “handshake” agreement to purchase the team at that price, but Wang pulled the offer off the table only to return months later asking for $548 million for the team, to which Barroway refused to pay. Wang then told him he sold the team to another party on Aug. 1.
The source of Wang’s angst and change of mind on the price? The Los Angeles Clippers. From the Daily News:
“Wang was having seller’s remorse,” the court papers say, “because he believed he had agreed to sell the Islanders for a price too low after hearing the unrelated news that a $2 billion bid was place to purchase” the Clippers.
As far as the Islanders being sold, that would be news to everyone because no announcement of a sale has been made and once Barroway and Wang stopped discussing a deal, it was assumed Wang was back to square one.
It seems that even when things are going well over the summer for the Islanders, there’s always something new to pop up and become a distraction. This time it may prove to be a costly one for the owner.