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Pols 'Disappointed' Over Isles' Plans to Leave Nassau

County exec announces selection of 'economic development team' to spur redevelopment.

Elected officials who've had a hand in prior planning attempts for a new arena at the Nassau Coliseum expressed disappointment over the NHL team's announcement to leave the county for Brooklyn's Barclays Center in 2015.

"I am disappointed to learn of the Islanders’ plan to relocate to Brooklyn," Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray said. "They’ve been a valued part of this region’s identity, and we wish the team great success in the future. We hope Long Islanders will continue to cheer for the team.

"Hempstead Town, along with Nassau County, has long been focused on progressive development at Nassau’s HUB, including a new home for the Islanders. We worked hard to make that goal a reality. Though we regret the Islanders’ decision to relocate, we remain committed to development at the Nassau Veterans Coliseum site that makes sense for our region and our residents."

Nassau County Democratic Leader Kevan Abrahams was also saddened by the relocation news.

"This is a sad day for Nassau County and unfortunately another crippling hit to our local economy," he said. "To lose the Islanders, Nassau's only professional sports franchise, is an epic failure of leadership at all levels. We must immediately start working on new ideas for the Hub so that the Coliseum does not sit as a crumbling eyesore for generations."

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano called the Hub project the "most promising job creating opportunities in the nation," and has even solicitied private proposals for the Coliseum site after the referendum was voted down by residents.

"It is my intention to ensure that the taxpayers of Nassau County benefit from the economic redevelopment of 77 acres of land that sit within the most dynamic county in the nation," he added.

Mangano will also announce the selection of an economic development team who will serve as a catalyst in redeveloping the Hub into a "vibrant destination and job creation center."

"I believe the depth and experience of our team will allow us to reinvent this strategic acreage quickly," Mangano said, "allowing the economic benefits from Mitchel Field and the Hub to improve the quality of life of every Nassau County resident.”

paul October 26, 2012 at 12:31 AM
I bet if they put it up as a referendum now the naysayer taxpayer may just say yes this time. Sorry to late.. You lose..
Lloyd October 26, 2012 at 01:32 AM
I bet the few thousand diehard Islanders fans will somehow find their way by train to the Barclay Center. And Wang is laughing all the way to the bank. He's going to weasle out of his Coliseum lease somehow and move into Brooklyn ASAP. And it's b.s. that the team couldn't attract free agents because of Coliseum aesthetics. First of all..Wang had poor management advice to lean on. Secondly.. He's still paying off a perennially lame goalie that he stupidly signed for at least a dozen years. He must have asked Omar Minaya for advice. Thirdly..He fired every successful coach who then went on to do well elsewhere. Forthly..His draft picks made by his genius GM's mostly went down the toilet Fifthly...He had a lousy cable TV and radio contract And lastly...He desperately tried to compete with the Rangers and failed. His operation was low class/Mickey Mouse compared to theirs. Even if the Knicks and Rangers weren't winning, they always packed the house and made money. And the owners weren't cheap. They SPENT IT on getting the best players they could. While the Islanders always settled for the scraps. It wasn't that they had no money to compete. The Devils are constantly broke with poor attendance, but constantly competing for the Stanley Cup. How do you explain that except for Wang 's desire NOT to do well so he can skate out of Uniondale and into Downtown Brooklyn without any major objection. Just like a slumlord would do.
paul October 26, 2012 at 01:48 AM
How can you suggest: "And it's b.s. that the team couldn't attract free agents because of Coliseum aesthetics." That is true. A player knowing that the team being unsettled in Uniondale for the past several years, might not want to take a chance of uncertainty. Not all hockey players get paid multimillions.... And to relocate to where your home field is with uncertainly definitely plays a role... The place was a dump for years and no one took them seriously that they might leave..... We lose....
paul October 26, 2012 at 01:52 AM
The Barclay Center wasn't even a twinkle when the coliseum became an issue years ago. I hope Wang finds a way to screw the county and the nay-saying taxpayers when he finds a way to break his lease with little or no penalty... We get what we deserve, poop....
Rebecca October 26, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Vote Kate Murray OUT OF OFFICE. Wang's only mistake: Not waiting until Election Day 2012 to announce his move...
Rebecca October 26, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Kate Murray DID know what would happen. And she wants it this way: Charles Wang is friends with Democrat Tom Suozzi, so f_ing Republican Kate Murray couldn't let him succeed here.
Rebecca October 26, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Then PLEASE for the love of all that's holy, HELP VOTE KATE MURRAY OUT OF OFFICE. I BEG YOU!
Ralebird October 26, 2012 at 03:19 AM
But Lloyd it's the County who is the slumlord, a slumlord who wouldn't let the tenant renovate the building and the surrounding area at his own expense. Other than a skewed vision of hockey management do you have an answer as to why Wang would want to lose all the millions he has in the last twenty years? Is that what has him laughing? If Wang was going to weasel out of his lease he could have put the Islanders in bankruptcy years ago instead of pouring more of his own money into the team. I'm not sure even you know why you're painting Wang as the villain here unless you're an apologist for the small town politicians who screwed this up so badly.
Ralebird October 26, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Economic Development Team - (noun) a group of sycophants with no qualifications other than political connections overpaid to determine if there is a method of securing the entrances to a barn long after the cash cows have fled the scene.
Ralphus N. Sardu October 26, 2012 at 03:34 AM
You either improve or deteriorate. There is no middle ground. The county has been on the downslide since the 1980's. It is inherently screwed up, mainly because it was born corrupt, raised corrupt and inbred corrupt. A wealthy tax base and a responsive Republican machine kept a lid on it for a long time. But the gig is up and you can only hide incompetence for so long. And then bad things like this happen and they don't happen overnight. Better get out while you can. Ain't nobody moving here, who would?
Ralphus N. Sardu October 26, 2012 at 03:37 AM
I saw the Barclays Center today. Its awesome. Work started a few years ago, in spite of lawsuits, community opposition, etc. Marty Markowitz aint no Napoleon, but he made sure it got done. Why are we in the Land of No? Must be easier to zone vacant unrented rotting space than it is to develop.
Ralphus N. Sardu October 26, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Nassau County promises another study. Please, just admit you screwed up and stop treating us like fools. Construction jobs were there to be had for a new coliseum. Instead we have construction workers on unemployment or making 8 bucks an hour at home depot, with their houses in foreclosure, etc. Yeah, good going Ed and Kate. Really responsive to your constituents.
Lloyd October 27, 2012 at 01:21 AM
I "love" all this Republican bashing in the Five Towns Patch. Its just what I expected from you people. Democrats can do no wrong while Republicans can do no right. Maybe if Wang wasnt such a crook and a sleaze bag and didnt get all his executives sent to prison for him while he walked away with over a half billion dollars, Murray and Mangano might have made a deal with him. If Wang had shown he could successfully run an NHL franchise, instead of running it down to the lowest level, the Nassau politicians would have gladly lent their name and taxpayer dollars to be his partner. If Wang had the good reputation of a Steinbrenner, Dolan, or Mara he could have gotten anything he wanted. So stop blaming the Republicans and start voting Republican before this entire country gets flushed down the toilet into Obamanation.
Ralebird October 27, 2012 at 05:24 AM
Other than the first person commenting on this story and a few direct responses there are very few comments here directed at a political party. Virtually all the criticism has been directed at the individuals whose inability or unwillingness to work to keep the coliseum open, much less replaced, has now cost hundreds of jobs and the loss of hundreds of millions in revenues. The fact that the shoes that fit them so well are republican models is immaterial to all but the most partisan gameplayers and apologists like yourself.
Robert Demarco October 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM
This isn't a "Republican thing"; it has to do squarely with Kate Murray. Mangano, even though a lightweight, and however misguided his efforts, tried to get it done. Murray, with her lack of vision and ethics, blocked every move. So, this fiasco is 100% the fault of Kate "We're freezing taxes" Murray. What she has frozen is the future.
Gary Port October 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Bob: As you know, as you and I have discussed before, I fully agree with you. The ultimate problem is that Kate, having spent her entire life in Levittown, sees Nassau through a fantasy laced prism of her recollections as a child: endless summers, ice cream trucks, and children playing. Jobs and commercial activity plan no role in that vision. In my discussions with her on the Courtesy Hotel (hot-sheets no-tell motel) in West Hempstead, she demonstrated a fundamental lack of understanding of the need for economic growth. Having such limited experience, she has divided the world in two: Queens and Levittown. If it is not like Levittown it must be like Queens. As a result she has killed all economic growth for the town. Ed Ambrosino (yes, I am giving due credit to a Republican and very fine man) has and continues to butt head with her on this issue. Rebecca: We tried last year. I ran very hard. Everywhere I went, 5 of 10 people exploded at the mere mention of her name. Only two out of ten expressed any liking for her at all. But, in the end out of 500,000 registered voters, only 100,000 voted. Of that 100,000 Kate got over 66%. My advice for the people who want her gone: vote next year, don't just complain; also get your friends out to vote.
Lloyd October 27, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Im sure if the Mangano and Murray were Democrats, most of you Five Towns Libs would squarely place,a ll the blame on Charles Wang. Wang reminds me of the late, "great" Roe Boe who sold his biggest asset, Dr. J. to the 76'ers then fled the Coluseum
Robert Demarco October 27, 2012 at 12:48 PM
I do not live in the Five Towns, Lloyd. And I am certainly not a Liberal. I see things for what they are, not along party lines.
Lloyd October 27, 2012 at 12:55 PM
for New Jersey. He sold his share of the Islanders then sold off the Nets too. Just like the current Isalanders fiasco, it was ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. Not politics that forced Roy Boe to move and sell out. He couldnt pay his bills, just like Wang cant because nobody goes to the games and it gets Zero TV ratings. Wang sees a bonanza for him in Brooklyn...new fans, new arena, more publicity, and a full arena with limousine driven, white collar/corporate season ticket holders. These upscale customers have more money to spend than the suburban dads and moms with their SUV's.
Tom Garrett October 27, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Lloyd, It’s nice to see that you’re a good team player and you’re wrapped up in your ideology but you’re ignoring the simple fact that all roads end at Kate Murray’s office.
Robert Demarco October 27, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Hi, Gary. Great to hear from you. You understand better than anyone what happened here, having dealt with Murray and having run against her. Congrats on the Newsday endorsement and best of luck in the election.
Ralebird October 27, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Give yourself a break Lloyd. Roy Boe was a lousy businessman - that's why he lost both the Nets and the Islanders. In fact, he has lost virtually everything he ever tried to manage including businesses in Connecticut and a landmark restaurant in Westhampton Beach. Sometimes you just need to face the facts and admit your team screwed up - big time and stop blaming their failures on everyone else. Even the most loyal Yankee fans know their team blew up this year but they're not blaming it on the Red Sox or the Mets.
Lloyd October 28, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Ralebird .. Mr. Wang is no better than Mr. Boe, and in some ways even worse. I havent read anything about Roe Boe's former close business executives going to jail for the crimes that his corp. was responsible for. And just like Roy Boe, Charles Wang abandoned his fans and the Coliseum for a better deal somewhere else when money got tight. But unlike Roy Boe, Wang's Islanders area huge flop...perennial losers. The Nets won a few championships under Boe's astute ownership. And Roy Boe brought in the young talent in the late 1970's that won 4 straight cups in the early 1980's. Yeah guys. Keep defending the man who nearly destroyed a once thriving NHL franchise. Kate Murray could not have done as worse job as its owner.
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KP LIslander December 04, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Maybe it's me, but I seem to be missing something here. Mangano announced plans to “reinvent” the Nassau Coliseum by bringing in Forest City Ratner Companies, the same developer responsible for Barclay’s Center. This is "to help transform the venue into becoming what the county described as ‘an attractive, state-of-the-art destination for sports & entertainment.’ " Really? Mangano is doing this NOW, after Wang’s hand was forced by the TOH & Nassau County & was left with no choice but to move? Why now? Why couldn’t this have been considered BEFORE Wang was left with no option but to move to Brooklyn? How is that going to be paid for? And how would the manner in which this is to be paid for now be any different vs. how such a course of action would have been funded with the Isles kept in place in Uniondale? I don’t get it. I would really like to see the media ensure making it a point to highlight this valid & legitimate aspect in order for this to be rightly addressed as it should be & not glossed over, minimized, trivialized & conveniently brushed under the rug. What a bunch of f&^%ing short-sighted baffoons trying to cover their a$$ in vain. Yet more of the same nonsense from the same inept, dysfunctional gov’t officials being paid by the taxpayer. Mind boggling & unbelievable. Pathetic. And unconscionable that they even have the temerity to act as though they are not complicit or culpable, as if they have done nothing wrong. A-WH()Le$
Lloyd December 05, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Wang is a clown and a loser. Good riddance, Charlie! Don't let the door hit you in the ass as you leave. I couldn't be happier that he's gone. It matters not where. Let Brooklyn and Bloomberg now deal with that sleazebag who ruined a once proud and successful franchise and ran it into the toilet. Is there anyone on here who has PROOF that he hasn't? Can you show me one thing positive that Wang has done for the team or for the fans or for the taxpayers? It's ALL to line his own pockets. But none of you seem to get it. He did to the Islanders what he did to Computer Associates and its officers. Go look it up. BTW..This is all a moot point anyway. The NHL is going out of business and there won't be any NY Rangers, NY Islanders or any other team to compete against each other. Watch for a NEW pro league to form to pick up the ashes of the defunct, locked out NHL. So we may wind up with a new team like in the old WHA. The new Long Island Ducklings may rise from the dead in a new pro league that plays in the newly refurbished NASSAU VETS MEM COLISEUM under the name of the Chase Centre or maybe the Edward Mangano Coliseum.

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