SBD/Issue 90/Franchises

Treasure Island: Islanders Consider Move To Suffolk County

Islanders In Relocation
Talks With Suffolk County
Suffolk County (NY) Economic Development Committee member Bob Venero, a “confidant” of Islanders co-Owner Charles Wang, said the Islanders and Suffolk County have signed a memorandum of understanding that calls for “exploring plans, direction and an agreement” to move the hockey team from Nassau County to Suffolk County, according to Lam & Harrington of NEWSDAY. Venero: “We’re beyond meetings at this point and into strategic planning and development.” He added that the “intensified discussions are the result of the Islanders’ ‘frustration with Nassau County.’” Wang could not be reached for comment and Suffolk County Exec Steve Levy “would neither confirm nor deny that the county is signing any commitment with the Islanders.” Islanders VP/Communications Chris Botta said, “As this long process with Nassau continues, we would be foolish not to begin to explore alternatives. Suffolk County is a real and viable option for the Islanders and our fans across Long Island” (NEWSDAY, 1/27).

COLISEUM: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, attending Penguins-Islanders last night, would not comment on the Suffolk option, but said the plan is to “work with the existing infrastructure initially and hope that the politicians will step up and do the right thing as it relates to the franchise and the overall economics to having a team here.” Bettman, on Nassau Coliseum: “If there was no team here and somebody came to us and said, ‘We’d like to bring a team to Nassau Coliseum,’ our answer would be, ‘Are you kidding?’” (NEWSDAY, 1/27).

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Franchises, New York Islanders, NHL

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