On October 9th, Brett Yormark of the Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment group gave an interview to John Lombardo of sportsbuisnessdaily.com. Yormark contends his aim is a Brooklyn centric approach to marketing the Barclays Center. When asked about the Islanders relationship while playing at the Barclays, Yormark said, “The economics just don’t work. It’s a Long Island team trying to create a fan base in Brooklyn, and to date it has been met with very modest success and not at the numbers we have hoped.” In January, Bloomberg News reported, "the owner of both Barclays and the Nets, Mikhail Prokhorov, shared a financial projection with prospective investors that showed the Islanders won’t contribute any revenue after the 2018-19 season.
John Ledecky, co-owner of the New York islanders responded in kind. “I guess he’s saying that perhaps that the people on his side didn’t make a good deal … Unfortunately when the facility (Barclays) was built it was not built with hockey in mind,” Ledecky said.” The bad ice coupled with the many obstructed views and bad sight-lines has been a sore spot for most fans since the Islanders signed a 25-year lease in 2012 (started in ’15-16) that has an opt out clause built into the agreement for either side.
Yesterday, Jim Baumbach and Robert Brodsky wrote how Ledecky feels about the Islanders and their future venue plans. Those plans are to focus on putting a new state-of-the-art building on the Belmont property. Per Kevin Maher on Ledecky, “Islanders will win the RFP for Belmont site. At one point he corrected himself while talking to say "when we win it."
“We are locked and loaded on Belmont,” Ledecky said at a luncheon with reporters in Manhattan. “We have blinders on for Belmont. We are not looking at other places or other opportunities. We want to make Belmont a reality.” Newsday repeated, “The Islanders last month confirmed that they ‘submitted a comprehensive proposal to create a world-class sports and entertainment destination at Belmont Park.”
Brian Compton’s point is well taken on other destinations or rumors the team will move, “Ledecky and Malkin have pumped $60M into practice facility. Doesn’t sound like a team leaving town to me. Ledecky said he wants his legacy to be getting this building done and winning more Cups.” He wants it to be a legacy project for the franchise in an area that is “strategically located” with easy access to LIRR.
Jon Ledecky says Isles are contractually obligated to play at Barclays Center next year. He had no comment when asked where the team would play if the Belmont bid was turned down or even accepted and not ready for the team the following season. Per Newsday, “Ledecky said the Coliseum, which underwent a $165 million renovation and seats 13,900 for hockey, was not in consideration, citing its capacity and lack of luxury boxes and suites. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said last month that the Coliseum “is not a viable option” for the Islanders, even on a temporary basis.”
“Nassau and Suffolk lawmakers have urged the team to return to the Coliseum, with many expressing concern that a new Belmont arena could irreparably hurt the Coliseum’s ability to attract shows and drive revenue to the county.” Ledecky says total focus is on securing Belmont arena.
“We don’t want to be nomads,” he said. “We don’t want to be wandering folks. We want to be in our own home in a custom-built arena.” I think John Tavares and a legion of fans would agree.
The most used KoC JT picture in blog history because its awesome.
The Islanders are 1-1-1, 3 games in and sit 6th in the Metro ahead of the Penguins and last place NYR. They play in Anaheim tonight at 10pm, SJ (10:30pm) on Saturday and LA on Sunday at 10:30pm. They conclude their road trip against the Rangers in MSG on Thursday, 10/19 at 7pm before a 2 game homestand against SJ (10/21) and ARI (10/24).
Sound Tigers Notes:
The Islanders had 22 AHL grads on their opening night roster. There were 640 league wide.