SBD/Issue 155/Facilities & Venues

Bettman Says Islanders' Lighthouse Project Remains Stalled

Stalled Lighthouse Project On Long Island
Could Lead To Islanders Moving To Queens

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman Friday said that the Lighthouse project "remains stalled and that an eventual relocation of the Islanders, possibly to Queens, remains firmly on the table," according to Steve Zipay of NEWSDAY. Bettman: "I don't think that anybody with the Islanders could've imagined that they'd still not have any answers." Bettman said Hempstead, New York, "hasn't done anything but elongate the process," and Islanders Owner Charles Wang's "attitude at this point is: 'I've done everything I can, and at some point they've got to come to me.'" Bettman: "If not, he'll start looking at his options on Long Island first to see what he can do, but the club has to have a new arena." Zipay noted none of the parties "had spoken publicly about the sprawling project since October, but Bettman's remarks sparked strong responses." Town of Hempstead Communications Dir Michael Deery said that Bettman's comments "on development of the property are inaccurate." Deery said the town is working on a "blueprint for development at Nassau's Hub and intends to consider the plan before the start of the next hockey season." Brian Nevin, Senior Policy Adviser for Nassau County Exec Edward Mangano, who took office in January, said that Mangano "has spoken with Wang." Nevin said the county "has not amended or withdrawn its support of the Nassau Coliseum project but rather is supporting Hempstead's sensible efforts to identify and jump-start acceptable levels of development." Meanwhile, Zipay noted Bettman "did not dispute that one possibility for relocation is a Flushing Meadows tract adjacent to Citi Field that apparently will be up for bid this summer" (NEWSDAY, 4/24).

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