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Just because the Islanders lease at Nassau Coliseum is up doesn't mean the drama with their former lease partner?Service Management Group Inc. (SMG) is over.

The Islanders filed a lawsuit against the arena management company, claiming that SMG "failed to fulfill the terms of an arena sublease and owes the club at least $1 million." SMG countered on Thursday by arguing that the Islanders defaulted on more than $10 million payments that the team owed before the July 31 expiration date of their lease at Nassau Coliseum. (Newsday, Aug. 20)

Tags: Arena News, Islanders, nassau coliseum, new york islanders, News, SMG, Christian Arnold
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The Long Island Railroad will be adding extra service to and from Barclays Center during Islanders' home games this upcoming season (Newsday, Aug. 3).

The LIRR will add two additional eastbound trains to Farmingdale and Babylon that will depart Atlantic Terminal 20 minutes after the end of weekday home games. Fans looking for other?lines will transfer at Jamaica. In addition, two west bound trains will be added to the schedule on the weekend along with two extra eastbound trains after games.

Tags: Arena News, barclays center, brett yormark, Islanders, Long Island Railroad, new york islanders, News, Christian Arnold
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For 43 year the Islanders have called Nassau Coliseum home. After the 2014-15 campaign ended, the team began their migration west to Brooklyn.

On Saturday, their departure became complete with the last signage of the team's presence at Nassau Coliseum coming down. Former Islanders Point Blank lead writer Kevin Schultz tweeted out a picture of a barren Nassau Coliseum.

Tags: Arena News, Billy Joel, Islanders, nassau coliseum, new york islanders, Christian Arnold
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The Islanders will have another new sponsor for their inaugural season in Brooklyn.

Draft Ops, a daily fantasy sports operator, has signed a three-year sponsorship deal with the Barclays Center. The agreement includes sponsorship of the Islanders, which includes "on-and-off ice assets" (Forbes, June 24).

The fantasy sports website will also build an on-site?Fantasy Sports Book at Barclays Center. The Fantasy Sports Book?will begin being built in September and Draft Ops will launch it in connection with the Islanders season opener in October.

Tags: Arena News, barclays center, Draft Ops, Islanders, new york islanders, News
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Nassau County is considering filing a lawsuit against Nassau Coliseum operator SMG to collect?nearly $6 million in unpaid rent, utilities, parking and concessions, as well as an additional $176,000 in back ticket taxes. (Newsday, May 19)

SMG owes the county money dating back to 2011, according to an audit conducted by comptroller George Maragos. He wants the county to file suit to collect the money.

"The county has every intention to collect the dollars owed and has been actively pursuing a resolution to make the county whole," said?County Attorney Carnell Foskey. (Newsday, May 19)

Tags: Arena News, Islanders, nassau coliseum, nassau county
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The master plans for the renovated Nassau Coliseum will be submitted to the town on Hempstead on Tuesday (Newsday, Apr 14).

Forest City Ratner, which is owned by Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner, is redeveloping the antiquated arena and the surrounding property. A town spokesman said that Nassau Events Center LLC -- an affiliate created by Forest City to oversee the project -- will submit a plan on Tuesday

Town supervisor Kate Murray said in a statement: "I look forward, along with my colleagues on the town board, to reviewing NEC's plan."(Newsday, Apr 14)

Tags: Arena News, nassau coliseum
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Update:?Forest City Ratner has filed suit against Blumenfeld Development Group. The suit alleges that BDG has tried to make "unilateral changes" to the Coliseum redevelopment plan, according to Newsday.

Forest City Ratner also alleges that the dispute has led to "delays and gridlock" in filing plans with the Town of Hempstead. Forest City officials do not believe the suit will hold up the time frame of the project, which is expected to begin in August.

However, a?Long Island Business News report?suggested that the suit could hold up the project for months.?

Tags: Arena News, barclays center, Islanders, nassau coliseum, News
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Any indication that the Islanders could return to Long Island seems to be news to the National Hockey League.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daley told Newsday on Thursday that "we have been given no indication by the Islanders, or by anyone else, that the move to Brooklyn is or will be temporary." The comment to Long Island's only daily newspaper comes a day after Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano publicly expressed hope the Islanders would return to the a renovated Nassau Coliseum in a few years.

The county executive announced during his State of the County Address plans to build the Islanders new offices and a practice rink Cantiague Park in Hicksville using private funding. That along with a revamped Coliseum is part of a plan by the county to try and draw the Islanders back east to the suburbs.

Tags: Arena News, Islanders, nassau coliseum, new york islanders, News
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The Islanders could be getting new offices and a new practice facility on Long Island, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano announced during Wednesday's State of the County Address.

The plan is to build the Islanders a new corporate office and practice facility at Cantiague Park in Hicksville. The announced plans come as the Islanders regular season begins to wind down. The team has only seven remaining regular home dates left at Nassau Coliseum, however there will be at least two more after that for postseason action.

The project will be privately funded, according to Newsday.

Tags: Arena News, Islanders, nassau coliseum, nassau county, new york islanders, News
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When the Islanders finish the 2014-15 season they will vacate the Nassau Coliseum and Bruce Ratner, owner of the Barclays center and the man responsible for bring the Nets to Brooklyn, will redevelop the outdated arena.?

Ratner attended?at a business breakfast at Eisenhower Park and spoke about some of the plans for the new Coliseum.

"It has the potential to be great again," he said during the breakfast, according to SavetheIsles.com's Scott Clinco.

Tags: Arena News, bruce ratner, nassau coliseum, News
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Brooklyn Nets ownership is looking to combine assets with the ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to NetsDaily.com

So what does this have to do with the Islanders? If Mikhail Prokhorov's?ONEXIM Sports and Entertainment and?Guggenheim Sports and Entertainment Assets "merge assets" it will play a factor into how the renovation of the Nassau Coliseum is financed

From Nets Daily:

Tags: Andrew Barroway, Arena News, barclays center, bruce ratner, Islanders, Islanders Notebook, Los Angeles Dodgers, Mikhail Prokhorov, nassau coliseum, new york islanders, News, ONEXIM Sports and Entertainment
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Brooklyn, N.Y. -- It would be safe to say that, to many Islander fans, Friday's preseason game in Brooklyn was more about seeing what the future home of the team will look like rather than scoping out the team itself. The venue was the topic of discussion for fans on Twitter and for fans in the building.

Barclays Center was not built for hockey. It would be hard to argue against that by any means.

However, to say that it is terrible for hockey would not be accurate either. The thing with Barclays Center is that it has its' flaws, but it also has a lot of positives. The most obvious being that the building isn't 43 years old. Nothing against Nassau Coliseum -- it's a building that is great for hockey, but lacks modern amenities and is literally falling apart.

Tags: Arena News, barclays center, Islanders, new york islanders, News
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The Islanders are set to move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn when their lease expires at the end of next season, the 2014-15 season. But, for a time, they bounced around the idea of skipping town a year early according to a report in yesterday's Newsday.[sny-box]The Islanders had preliminary discussions in recent months about the team leaving the Uniondale arena at the end of this season, the sources said, but the conversations never advanced and the idea was scrapped.[/sny-box]Deputy County Executive Rob Walker told Newsday that discussions never got to the County level. So, there will be one more go-around at the Old Barn on Hempstead Turnpike.In April 2013, Point Blank reported that the Islanders were considering the possibility of leaving Nassau a year earlier than their lease required.
Tags: Arena News, Kevin Schultz

Apparently it's Barclays Center Week here at IPB. More info on the arena front from Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark, who was on the Michael Kay Show earlier today discussing the Nets, Islanders and Coliseum renovations.?As far as renovations of the arena in preparation for the Islanders go, Yormark said that the way the arena was for the pre-season game was mostly how it would look when the Islanders move in."For the most part, what the fans saw on the 21st is what they'll see when the Islanders come here," Yormark told Kay. "We are thinking about adding some premium seating, which I think will be great for that high-end premium buyer but other than that we're ready to go."Yormark also mentioned that they still need to build a "locker room campus" for the Islanders and other "smaller things" that were needed to accommodate the team. But he said there was "nothing big from the standpoint of having to add additional seating or anything like that."Asked why, with his team renovating the Coliseum, it wasn't possible for the Islanders to stay Yormark had the following to say:[sny-box]I just don't think you could have refurbished it in a way where it could truly accommodate a professional hockey team for 44 nights. There's very little suite revenue coming out of that building. They don't really have suites. I just think there's a slew of reasons why it wouldn't work. I just don't think you could generate the revenue out of that building.?[/sny-box]The hosts also asked him about rumors (heh) that the team may move earlier than their scheduled mid-2015 moving date:[sny-box]Well, I'll never say never cause you just don't know... But right now the plan is 15-16 and should it change, I'll call you guys.[/sny-box]Here's the full audio of Yormark's interview.
Tags: Arena News, barclays center, brett yormark, Kevin Schultz

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Islanders would receive an annual payment from the Barclays Center when the team relocates there for the 2015-16 season and each year thereafter. The Journal reported that this payment was believed to be in the tens of millions of dollars per year.A Point Blank source has seconded the WSJ?s report that the team would receive a large annual payment from the Barclays Center and has provided further details.The source added that the payment to the Islanders would increase at a single-digit percentage annually. There are also stipulations in the agreement that could cause the payment to be reduced but the exact details of such stipulations were not known.In exchange for the large lump sum payment each season, the source tells Point Blank that the Barclays Center will receive the majority of team revenues. Those revenue streams include ticketing, merchandising, suite sales and other revenue sources that Islander games at the Barclays Center will produce.In the deal, the Islanders also agree to play most of their regular season games at the facility as well as a guarantee of three pre-season games per year.The agreement appears to give the Islanders financial stability with a set annual payment from the arena while the arena will bear the risk and volatility of revenues each season. From year-to-year ticket sales may dip or jersey sales may increase, however the Islanders bottom line will be largely unaffected by these ups and downs under the terms of the agreement. The Barclays Center will bear the brunt of the risk for variance in revenues.In August 2011, the Islanders worked with Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and attempted to pass a bond proposal to build a new arena via public vote. If that agreement had passed, the Islanders would have paid the County $14 million per year in rent plus a cut of arena revenues. The vote failed and instead the team signed the agreement with the Barclays Center in October 2012 to relocate to the Barclays Center for 25-years following the expiration of the team's lease at the Nassau Coliseum during the summer of 2015. Since then, the two organizations have slowly become intertwined with the Barclays Center taking over Islanders business operations?this past June.
Tags: Arena News, barclays center, Exclusive, Islanders, Kevin Schultz

Usually when a sports team takes up residence in an arena, the team pays rent to either the company or municipality that owns the arena. It's a typical landlord/lessee relationship, just on a much bigger scale than normal. Sometimes, teams even get a sweetheart deal on that rent money, as they leverage how badly the municipality wants to keep the team in the city by making not so veiled threats to move or not award Super Bowl hosting rights to the city (the NFL has used this tactic quite well over the years, especially with the ever-present threat of Los Angeles).Yesterday's Wall Street Journal has a report on the profitability of the Barclays Center, which is apparently not as profitable as its owners originally thought it would be, saying that it is "tens of millions of dollars" behind income estimates. But hidden at the end of the article is the first bit of information we have about the Islanders "iron-clad" 25-year lease with the Barclays Center, and it's not the typical lease relationship that was described above (emphasis is mine).[sny-box]The company hopes for a boost when the Islanders move to the arena. It also agreed in August to overhaul the Islanders? current home, the Nassau Coliseum, which the company hopes will help generate more income.But the Islanders also bring risks. The Barclays Center?s owners have guaranteed the Islanders an unspecified annual payment to move them there, according to a report from Standard & Poor?s, which issued ratings on the arena bonds and highlighted the deal as a risk factor.People familiar with the deal said it runs in the tens of millions of dollars a year. Mr. Yormark described it as a ?conservative? deal.[/sny-box]For comparison, the Islanders deal with Nassau County if the referendum had passed was to pay the County $14 million in rent plus 11.5% revenue sharing. Now, it looks as though the Islanders themselves were actually paid to move to Brooklyn. However, we don't know the full picture. With the Barclays running everything from marketing to concessions and ticket sales, it is entirely possible that Barclays gets a very healthy cut of team revenue streams and is off-setting that by paying the Islanders a yearly stipend. But we don't know.After a decade of trying to get his own arena built in Nassau County, it was odd to see Charles Wang become a tenant in someone else's building. The owner supposedly turned down offers from other municipalities to keep the Islanders in the metro area. Now we have a little bit clearer picture as to why that happened.
Tags: Arena News, Islanders, Kevin Schultz

The newly formed partnership between the Barclays Center/Nets and Islanders showed up at the Coliseum. The Nets two ABA Championship banners, which were won while the team called the Coliseum home in the 1970s, returned. The banners had never hung in the same arena as the Islanders Stanley Cup banners before, as the Nets bolted to New Jersey before the Islanders won their first title in 1980. It looks as though the Nets and Islanders are slowly becoming joined at the hip.Here's a great picture via @Number1IslesFan, with the Nets banners on the top left:

And here's a close-up shot from @JTSchreiner:

Tags: Arena News, Islanders, Kevin Schultz

When you head out to the Coliseum for tonight?s home opener against the Blue Jackets, it may look a little bare. Gone are the multiple banners advertising Optimum Wifi and Optimum TV, which covered the Coliseum in recent years. Instead, it?s back to only two banners as depicted in the picture at right, tweeted by Islandermania. ?There?s one banner for the Coliseum and one for the Islanders.The Islanders still have banners depicting current players posted vertically in between the pillars on the Coliseum?s exterior.For comparison, here?s what the Coliseum looked like last season straight?from the Optimum Rewards website:In the off-season, Madison Square Garden lost a bid to operate a renovated Nassau Coliseum. Both Optimum and Madison Square Garden are owned by the same parent company, Cablevision, although it is not clear that the loss of the bid and removal of ad banners are related in any way.The Coliseum had also been fully wired as an ?Optimum WiFi hotspot? in previous seasons. Let us know in the comments if that is still the case.
Tags: Arena News, cablevision, nassau coliseum, Kevin Schultz

If you've been looking to get your Islanders Hockey? fix during the preseason and are unable to fly to Calgary and Nashville or hustle to Newark after work, it's been a pain in the behind to figure out a way to watch the game. And that won't change tonight, as the only way you'll see the Islanders and Predators at the Coliseum is by making the drive to Uniondale.Last week against Calgary, the Islanders website picked up the Flames' online stream of the game that was done on "Flames TV" with full annoucers, graphics, replays and everything. Because it's Canada and people will riot if they don't have their hockey. On Sunday, the Nashville Predators declined to stream their game, and with no one on the Islanders side lugging equipment to Music City, no one in TV land or on the internet saw it (until highlights magically emerged days later).In between, the Islanders played a much ballyhooed preseason game against the Devils at the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It was a game that was talked about for a long time and got more local media coverage from print outlets than any Islanders game in... Years? Decades?It was available online via the Barclays Center, but you couldn't watch it on your television.For a quick refresher, here's an excerpt from this blog from editor emeritus Chris Botta in 2008 that is still remarkably accurate as the Islanders TV situation has not changed and will not until 2031:[sny-box]As for why MSG+ isn?t showing any Islanders [preseason] games while MSG Network seems to show Rangers ex games every other night, that?s an easy one and you know why. The Rangers are owned by Cablevision, the makers of MSG Network. A Rangers broadcast is a three-hour infomercial for the hockey team ownership is not going to pass up.On the other hand, the Islanders? television broadcast rights are owned by MSG Network. MSG has the right to decide if they want to spend the money to produce Islanders games in Moncton, Uniondale or anywhere. They choose not to.[/sny-box]And with the Barclays Center now a direct competitor to MSG -- and doing quite well -- it's no surprise that the network didn't want anything to do with a game that, frankly, might have had decent ratings (well, decent for the Islanders anyway).And all this leads us to tonight's game at the Coliseum that you will only see by actually being there.The team Twitter account announced this morning that the game wouldn't be streamed online due to "technical difficulties." Maybe there is something literally wrong with the equipment or maybe someone unplugged all the cameras in the building on purpose.Either way, the next time you can look forward to easily watching the Islanders will be next Friday night in New Jersey. Until then, you'll have to continue crossing your fingers for an online broadcast of the game, which has been a pursuit about as predictable as the weather.While we're at it, here's some more from that 2008 article. That season, no Islanders preseason games were streamed online despite broadcast streams being available the previous year.[sny-box]Islanders TV?s inability to show these ex games in Canada live and in living colour is a more difficult issue, but the reason is essentially the same. Not only does MSG Network have the broadcast rights for Islanders pre-season games, an impeccable TV industry source tells Point Blank that MSG Network also has the right to give the red light to any other company that wants to show the games.It?s a fair leap to assume MSG opted to block ITV from broadcasting games live in Moncton, London, PEI or anywhere else. Yes, last year they allowed it. This year, nope.To be clear, it?s not like the Islanders don?t want to have these games on ITV, MSG+ or anywhere else on the dial. MSG is exercising their contractual rights.[/sny-box]
Tags: Arena News, Islanders, msg, Kevin Schultz

At the end of the Islanders/Devils game in Brooklyn on Saturday night, we asked you to rate and respond about your experience at the brand new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The reviews, suffice to say, were a mixed bag. Some fans loved it, some hated it but it seemed like there was a good deal of reviews in the middle. The majority of the reviews came online in this comment thread.In all, we got 34 responses that were lengthy and passionate. Out of those 34, 28 rated the experience on a 1-5 scale, with 5 being the best rating. The average rating of those 28 respondents came out to exactly 2.996, or 3-out-of-5. Fans are literally divided about the arena (however, they are united in agreement that the urinals have some cool features).Of those 34 respondents, 18 included the price they paid for the ticket and that came out to an average of $57.80 per seat. The highest price paid was $120 and the lowest were two people who paid $20. One of those who said they paid $20 said they specifically picked the unobstructed side and loved their seats. The other did just about the opposite.The following are some excepts from the reviews we received, along with that person's rating of the entire experience. When possible, we've hyperlinked to the full review so that you can read the person's entire comments to give them more context.A lot of people noticed that the concessions on the upper level of the facility were packed...

[sny-box]"My only complaint was the congestion at the entrance when walking through the concourse trying to get to the food courts on the 2nd level. ?There is a narrow entrance plus the food line for the concession as you walk in makes the entrance even smaller. ?Otherwise I enjoyed the experience except that the Isles played like crap."- Scott D, No Rating

[/sny-box]About those urinals...[sny-box]"The beer selection is good though, and in the bathroom they have a ledge above the [urinals] to rest drinks which is a really smart idea... ?Navigating around the lower concourse during intermission was pretty easy which was nice. ?However, going around upstairs it was terrible! ?... Overall, while it certainly wasn't perfect, it could've been worse.- Scott C, [/sny-box]It could've been worse. Not sure that's the feeling one should have after visiting a brand new arena.The train works out really well if you live in NYC limits...[sny-box]I live in Jamaica and the trip was all of 20 minutes and simple. I was home in 45 minutes including train/walk. It really is easy to get to, for me at least. Can't say that for everyone else that were going out into LI.- Mike, [/sny-box]But we had a lot of people who didn't enjoy the train....[sny-box]The train station from Merrick was packed with isles fans, but when we got to Jamaica it was packed beyond belief. ?There was no room whatsoever to move or breathe on the train... Train ride home was same issue.- Ethan G, [/sny-box]It seems like it may have depended upon which train line you were on, and the further out you were in LI, the worse off you were.Scouting out your tickets may be the way to go...[sny-box]"I made sure to buy tickets on the side of the arena where I knew I'd have zero chance of an obstructed view. My sightlines were flawless and even though I was in the very last row I had no problem seeing who was on the ice and following the game."- Dan C, [/sny-box]No seriously, it's probably the way to go...[sny-box]Granted I was in an obstructed view section so I saw everything but the closest corner which was very annoying. The screen [on the scoreboard] is a square so where I was sitting I didn't have a straight view of either screen so following the game when it was in the defense end was not great... IMO sit center ice. Otherwise watch from home.- Rob, [/sny-box]Seriously, about those trains:[sny-box]...After the game I missed the 9:45 train to Hempstead. The next one was at 10:50 which is ridiculous. So I got on the train to Jamaica and waited till 11:13 to get on. I got back to my car at 11:50 and got home at 12:15. If they dont have more trains when the move there I will probably go to maybe 1 or 2 games a year. I'm not interested in 10 hr gamedays, when I used to get to the Coli in 15 minutes. Overall it was fine for game 1 but, alot of work to do to make it feel like home.-Chris, [/sny-box]Delaware approves:[sny-box]Thought the sight lines were good. Building was awesome. Drove 2 1/2hrs from Delaware and it was easy in, easy out. Prices were certainly of the GARDEN variety, that being MSG for food and drink. Staff was extremely friendly. I am proud of the hard choice Charles made, but it was necessary. Good move for the Isles, even though it felt like cheating on the old barn. It was very nice.- Will, [/sny-box]But really, those urinals are fancy:[sny-box]Positives- Bathroom lines moved quick, there are shelves to put your beer at the urinals and dividers between the urinals. The scoreboard was nice. Everything was new...- John, [/sny-box]Let's pick it up at #10 on the complaints list...[sny-box]10. My seats were not even listed as obstructed view and my seat was facing in the direction of the wall behind the section next to me, not the ice. At the end of the game, my neck hurt because it was turned the entire game in order for me to see the game.11. Yes, my seats were toward the top, but soo much higher than those seats in the coliseum.12. When you look down at the ice it just looks like it doesn't belong there...13. There is going to be a brand new coliseum built and they are going to be stuck in a basketball arena with no seats behind a net? It's absurd. It really is. Yes it's a nice building, the concourse is wide, it has good food and theres public transportation. Thats wonderful, but it doesn't mean anything if the actual game experience sucks...14. I have season tickets right now and if this is how it is going to be there is no chance in hell i am buying tickets for the barclays center...I will watch the games on tv.- Dan, [/sny-box]New Jersey weighs in:[sny-box]Your Thoughts: I was right behind the Devil's goal for the first and 3rd periods and got a great view of the game and the excellent jumbotron was right in front of me. I felt it was a great first game for the fans and it was not just Isle, Devils and Rangers fans but some Nordiques, North Stars, Whalers and Thrashers gear was out there as well. I can't wait for this to be their full-time facility as it was 30 mins on the train from Elizabeth on Nj transit and a short ride on the 2 train and it made life easy.- Tom, [/sny-box]Those customer service folks were cheery. Almost too cheery...[sny-box]Also: the word was clearly out to all service people to announce to everyone how excited they were to host a hockey game... (continued below)[/sny-box]The description "movie theater-like" also came up a couple times...[sny-box]...It is definitely darker, movie-theater like, in the entryway and concourse (the bit that I saw). Sounds like everyone's experience varied widely based on where they sat. For me, sightlines were pretty good. In terms of other factors, another commenter hit on the perfect word: disconcerting. Scoreboard, seating arrangement, bowl configuration, rink being off center, etc. Not bad, necessarily, but different. I wasn't bothered by it enough to be distracted from the game but I do find myself wondering what, if anything, can be done to fix it. I had no problems being able to watch the game at Barclays but i splurged on those tickets, and based on everyone else's complaining, I wonder what it will be like when I go into "regular" (ie, affordable) seats.- Rob, [/sny-box]Unfortunately, it might be a problem if you're not willing to pay for the seats with the view...[sny-box]Seats weren't as bad for only 20 bucks, although trying to see Nabby for 1st and 3rd was a struggle. The defensive zone looks terrible, the ice is literally under the seats. I can't believe they actually sell seats where you can't see one net. Certain sections are closed to try and get better views for fans but didnt work well. I was very pleased to see such a great turnout. Scoreboard wasnt an issue, looked nice and big...Commuting to the game was great, coming home was awful. Took me 2 hours to get home to Oceanside, with 1/2hr transfer in Jamaica. I wont be making many trips come 2015.- Mike B, [/sny-box]
Tags: Arena News, Islanders, Kevin Schultz

It's not exactly Islanders related, but around these parts we tend to cover what's going on with the local arenas quite closely and this is a follow up to one of those stories. Over the summer, as both Forest City Ratner and Madison Square Garden were vying for the rights to develop the Nassau Coliseum, we spotlighted the breaks that both entities receive through various mediums (all legal! even if you don't like them. It's corporate America, everyone!).Here's a flashback to that article, written August 8th:[sny-box]A couple of weeks back, Madison Square Garden?s operating permit?was given only a 10-year extension, which we mention because MSG gets a cool $15 million tax break ??estimated to be $350 million total since 1982?? to continue doing exactly what it?s doing. And what it?s doing is ?operating a successful business in midtown Manhattan.?[/sny-box]So, you know how lawmakers voted 49-1 to extend the operating permit 10 years and not in perpetuity? Well, in New York City they're doubling down on their anti-MSG proposals and attempting to end the tax break that MSG recieves. That break is $15 million a year because they don't pay property taxes.We're honestly not plugged into NYC politics enough to know how serious the attempts to end the lease are but here's what's happening, per CBS:[sny-box]New York State Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Queens) led a news conference Tuesday denouncing the plan. The lawmakers called the tax break ?absolutely absurd corporate welfare.?
Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) said it is time to stop the tax break. She said Madison Square Garden does not need the money anymore, and the people of the city do.
?We need the revenue we have lost through granting these tax breaks for health care; for poor people; for all sorts of things,? Rosenthal said. ?Meanwhile, the rich get richer, and they can get rich on their own.?[/sny-box]While the bill does have sponsors in both the New York State Senate and Assembly, it may meet opposition from Governor Cuomo who spoke out against it in April.In that same April article Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) also spoke out against it telling the Daily News that "the deal is to encourage development."Because obviously there wouldn't be a sports arena in New York City without it.
Tags: Arena News, Islanders, Kevin Schultz

Update, 4:55pm:?The Nassau Legislature has unanimously approved the project with a 19-0 vote.Update, 3:45pm: Ratner and Yormark have said that both the NHL and the Rangers (aka the Dolans) will need to approve the Islanders playing six games at the Coliseum per season after they leave for Brooklyn. Yormark said he was confident in both parties approving the plan but mentioned they have not yet tried to seek approval.Original Story:The Nassau Legislature is expected to vote later this afternoon on the proposed development of the Nassau Coliseum by Bruce Ratner, Brett Yormark, et al. At the moment, the group is addressing the legislature and have commented on a number of questions that have popped up since the group was awarded the Request for Proposal in August.One of the more interesting points is that Ratner has said that it is too costly to to keep the Islanders at the Coliseum after 2015, except for the six games that are currently promised under the proposal. He did say that he thinks it is important to have some Islanders games at the Coliseum. And as far as financing the project;?"it's not much if an issue, if we say we'll do it, we'll do it," Ratner said according to Newsday.Recently Tom Suozzi, who will be running for County Executive on the Democratic ticket has accused Ratner as well as Republican and incumbent County Executive Ed Mangano of planning to put 1,000 video slot machines on the new Coliseum site. Those accusations were shot down?by Ratner.As for the timeline of the project, renovation would begin in August of 2015 after the Islanders head for Brooklyn and the project would be completed sometime in 2016.
Tags: Arena News, Islanders, Kevin Schultz

BROOKLYN -- The Barclays Center impressed in its NHL debut... The Islanders didn't do quite the same in their Brooklyn debut.Corey Schneider and the New Jersey Devils shutout the Isles 3-0 Saturday night in the building New York will soon be calling home. Schneider made 26 saves in the New Jersey win, but the really story of the night was the venue to two teams were playing in.A lot of talk about the seating, sight lines, and the fact fans would have to take the train dominated the conversation leading up to the arena's hockey debut. But when all was said and done, the building passed the test for the most part. An announced crowd of 14,689 was on hand at Barclays and the fans Islanders Point Blank spoke with seemed happy with their future home."For me it was just about getting them to stay in New York. As long as they?re in New York, that?s perfect," said Mike Stasiuk from Hicksville.Stasiuk, unlike many fans that packed the Long Island Rail Road, drove to Barclays Center. Although he has taken the train there before. "I?ve taken the trains here for Nets games, but I don?t mind the commute. ?It?s a lot easier if anything," he said.Despite the outcome, the players also enjoyed their evening in the borough of Kings."The game obviously didn?t go the way we wanted to, but it was fun to play in that atmosphere and play in Brooklyn," Kyle Okposo said after the game. "Unfortunate for us, we didn?t have our best game, but we?re going to have many more in this building and we?re looking forward to it."Matt Martin, who may be the Islander who has visited the Barclays Center the most, found the atmosphere great."The fans were loud...and it?s not something you?re used to in a preseason game," he said. "They definitely helped you get into the game tonight. They were great, we were excited to play here, obviously we wished we put in a better effort."The Islanders did look flat at times during the 20 minute contest, with the Devils controlling the play for chunks of time. And when the team did have scoring chances and created momentum, Schneider was there to keep his team in front.It also didn't help that the ice wasn't as great as it could have been. "The ice was a little rough out there. The puck was bouncing a lot, but that will come with experience for them and the crew," Okposo said.But defenseman Travis Hamonic wasn't using that as an excuse."Was it definitely pretty hot out there? It really was and maybe that effected the ice a little bit," he said. "But they were playing on the same ice as we were, so we?re not going to use that as an excuse."The Islanders will not get much rest, since they are right back in action Sunday for a preseason contest in Nashville.
Tags: 13-14 Recaps, Arena News, Game Recaps, Islanders, kyle okposo, matt martin, travis hamonic, Christian Arnold

Tonight was the Islanders first game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and apparently a lot of you went. 14,689 to be exact. So how was it? Was it awesome? Couldn't see one of the nets? We want to know how it was, warts and all, so we're asking for your reviews of the first preseason game in Brooklyn.Send us an email (islanderspointblank@gmail.com) or leave a comment in this post. You're welcome to add pictures, videos, vines and whatever else you want to send us (no computer viruses, thank you). We'll post as many responses as we can on the site in the coming days. Tells us about the concourse, the sight lines, the transportation getting there, anything else you can think of.?Here's a quick form you can fill in, to keep things organized:----Name:Section, ticket price:Rate the experience, 1-5 (5 being the best):Your Thoughts:-----
Tags: Arena News, Islanders, Kevin Schultz

UNIONDALE, N.Y. ? Saturday night?s preseason matchup against the New Jersey Devils will be a glimpse into what life will be like when the Islanders move to Brooklyn in 2015.The exhibition contest between the Devils and Islanders will be the first NHL game to take place in the borough of Brooklyn, as well as the first hockey game to take place at the Barclays Center.It wont be the first time the Isles have visited their future home.The Islanders opened training camp last Thursday with a practice at the Brooklyn venue. Now the team will get a feel for what it is like to play in front of a crowd in Brooklyn.?I think everyone is looking forward to playing that game,? forward Colin McDonald said after Friday?s practice at Nassau Coliseum. ?Obviously it?s going to give us a little sneak peak of what?s to come in two years. I thought we had a lot of fun just even in the opening of training camp there and seeing the new building. It will be nice to see what it?s like with all the lights on and the scoreboard going, and obviously the fans in there.?Last week, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said that over 10,000 tickets had been sold for Saturday?s game.Despite the significance of the game off the ice, the team is treating the game like any other preseason game.?For us, we want to execute,? head coach Jack Capuano said. ?We want to play a little bit better with the vets that will be playing than we did in Calgary and Regina. That?s what I want to see.?McDonald echoed a similar sentiment, saying the team still had a job to do. ?We?re not just playing these preseason games to play. We?re trying to win these games and get better as a team. So that?s going to be our main focus when we get there tomorrow,? he said.The Islanders will have a morning skate tomorrow at Nassau Coliseum, before heading to Brooklyn for the game.NOTES: The Islanders announced that Cal Clutterbuck will be out for the next four to six weeks with a leg laceration suffered in Tuesday?s game against Calgary. ? Colin McDonald skated in Cluttberbuck?s spot on the third line in practice, with Michael Grabner and Peter Regin. ? Captain John Tavares turned 23 years old today.
Tags: Arena News, barclays center, colin mcdonald, Islanders, jack capuano, Christian Arnold

BROOKLYN -- The Islanders spent Thursday getting to know their future home and the transportation system their Long Island fanbase will have to utilize once the team relocates in 2015.Starting in Garden City, the team boarded a Long Island Rail Road train to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The trip took roughly 45 minutes to get to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and many of the players didn't find it to be that bad."We?re just a short train ride in," Travis Hamonic said while speaking ?to reporters on the train. "Today we?re seeing the simplicity of it. It?s nice and with we can hopefully gain some more fans in Brooklyn and the neat thing is we?re not alienating our fans on Long Island."Josh Bailey described the trip as quick and easy. "I think it will make it a lot easier for the fans," he said.After arriving at Atlantic Terminal and taking the short walk over to the arena, the team was greeted by Brett Yormark and Bruce Ratner in the plaza. When they made their way inside, Ratner gave the Islanders another warm welcome.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VKtm4fWfH0&w=480&h=360]The media in attendance was then given a tour of the hockey set up for the Barclays Center. As one can imagine, the differences between the the Barclays and Nassau Coliseum. In fact Josh Bailey summed it up the best saying, "it's obviously newer." The state-of-the-art scoreboards, a wider concourse, first class suites and amenities are just some of the differences.

Sight Lines and Seating

One of the biggest questions regarding the Islanders relocation to Brooklyn has been the sight lines and seating capacity, and after today it's hard to say that this will be a issue.Are there sights with obstructed views? Yes, but the Yormark and the Barclays management are aware of them. There are, according to Yormark, 416 seats that are "limited views" and will not be sold. Despite that, Capacity for hockey is now listed at 15,813.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy7omTCLOTY&w=480&h=360][youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLbS9jHAsAo&w=480&h=360]

The Video Scoreboard

The other big concern over the Barclays Center has been the position of the scoreboard. When images were first released, the idea of the scoreboard being over the blue line instead of center ice, created a major stir. Though, when you see it in person, it isn't as egregious as it was initially thought to be. In fact after a few moments it is hardly noticeable.And from other angles you'd never know the difference to begin with.

Locker Rooms

The Isles used the basketball locker room for Thursday's practice, and likely use it next Saturday when they play the New Jersey Devils, but they will get their own locker rooms when they move into the Barclays Center in 2015. They will be designed by AECOM. Photo Credit: AECOM Photo Credit: AECOM

Player Reactions to Barclays Center

 "It?s going to be our home in a couple years and we wanted to get acclimated with it. This being the first time here it?s pretty cool." - Kyle Okposo"First off when you see out side it?s obviously, I don?t know if futuristic is the right word, but it?s not like anything you?ve really seen before. It?s definitely different. It?s kind of got that rust finish, which I thought was pretty cool. You walk up off the train and you come around the corner and you see the huge Barclys sign right in front. It?s definitely a different atmosphere. There?s a lot more going on. There?s a lot of shopping. It?s kind of a busy area. It?s a different feel, but you walk into the building it?s open right away. You can see the ice, you can see the scoreboard, and that?s not something you see in a lot of arenas. That?s something definitely when you walk through the front doors it?s kind of a wow factor." - Matt Martin"It definitely feels really new. There will be an adjustment once we do get here to make it feel comfortable. Make it really feel right at home, but it?s a beautiful place and in a couple years it will be a nice move." - John Tavares"It was great. We didn?t really know what to expect. I hadn?t seen the rink yet. I was looking forward to getting down here and seeing it. You can tell it?s going to be a great atmosphere. I think the seats are right on top of you and that makes for a heck of an atmosphere. I think fans are going to like it, players are going to love playing here, and I?m certainly hoping I?m dressing for that first game here next Saturday." - Josh Bailey
Tags: Arena News, Islanders, Christian Arnold

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy7omTCLOTY&w=480&h=360]Video shot by Christian Arnold
Tags: Arena News, Islanders, Videos, Kevin Schultz

BROOKLYN ? Since the announced move to Brooklyn, Islander fans have feared that a change in venue would result in change in team colors and uniforms. The hand off of control of the team?s business operations to the Barclays Center has fueled that fire even further, especially after the Isles website had a makeover that featured a lot of Brooklyn Nets black and white.However, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark put those fears to bed Thursday morning when he told reporters that the Islanders colors would not change.?Charles and I have decided is that the Islander colors as they are today will be the same when they get here. The name will be the same,? Yormark said during the Islanders first day of training camp, which was being held in Brooklyn.Rumors of a potential change in the team?s historic colors have led to fans using social media to voice their displeasure with the idea to Yormark himself. And their comments did not fall on deaf ears.?I use social media for a lot of different reasons,? Yormark explained. ?See I do it because I want to hear from the fans and I?ve heard a lot from the fans.? They?ve been telling me since day one, since I?ve talked about research, what I should and shouldn?t be doing. I?m not an expert. I feel I?m pretty good at what I do, but I?m not an expert. So I take different consumer opinions, and I have, and they?ve weighed in pretty aggressively. I think we?ve come up with what?s right.?Fans of the team would most likely agree that he came to the right decision, but the Barclays Center CEO does intend to add a patch to the home and away jerseys that identifies in Brooklyn. The patch would be placed around the shoulder area of the jersey. ?We?re working with Charles and the league on that,? he said.Yormark also intends to revamp the third jersey to appeal Brooklyn.?What we will do?is introduce a third jersey,? he said. ??A second home jersey, and that is where we are going to get a little creative. That is where we will speak to Brooklyn in an authentic way.?He did not, however, go into specific details as to what the new third jersey would look like.
Tags: Arena News, brett yormark, Islanders, Christian Arnold

Addressing reporters this afternoon at the Barclays Center, Islanders owner Charles Wang said that the team would "be open to playing a few regular season games at Barclays over the next two years," prior to the team moving there permanently at the end of the 2014-15 season. Wang also noted that the plan is currently to continue to play out the lease at the Coliseum, and not move to Brooklyn permanently before the end of the lease.
Tags: Arena News, Kevin Schultz

Update, 2:20pm: Owner Charles Wang says there are 400 seats that are "less than desirable" and notes that it is up to Yormark and his team to adjust. Original Story: This morning, the Islanders took the Long Island Railroad from Garden City to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. A large group made the trip with about 50 players and many members of the media in attendance.Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark has been giving the media a tour of the arena, and told those in attendance that the arena will seat 15,813 fans for hockey. It is not clear if that number includes seats that may have obstructed views.This estimate has increased from the 14,500 figure that had been discussed since the move to Brooklyn was announced. The new seating total is also only 357 seats short of the 16,170 that the Nassau Coliseum currently holds, although the Coliseum does not have many, if any, obstructed view seats.Yormark commented that the arena's large scoreboard will make up for some of the sightline issues on one side of the arena. You can see the scoreboard, which is off-center in the following shot from News12's Kevin Maher:https://twitter.com/KMaherNews12/status/378157512320487424The Islanders Stanley Cup banners have also been moved to the Barclays for this event.https://twitter.com/KMaherNews12/status/378167963565559809Follow IPB's Christian Arnold on Twitter for updates from the Barclays Center.
Tags: Arena News, Kevin Schultz

If there's one thing that's been consistent throughout the Coliseum development of the last 10-plus years, it has got to be the inability for Nassau County politicians -- both at the County level and lower levels, both Democrat and Republican -- to put aside partisan politics and attempt to work on any kind of solution that would keep the Islanders in Nassau County. On Monday, the new Bruce Ratner-led plan for the Coliseum that appears to be the one that will finally lead to shovels in the ground (but to be on the safe side, don't hold your breath) got approval from some county committees and will now head to a vote in the legislature on September 23rd. After that, the final step will be approval from NIFA.Now that a revamped Coliseum seems to be headed for the finish line and the Islanders are tucked safely away in a 25-year "iron-clad" lease with the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, a few Nassau politicians are voicing that they would -- pretty please with sugar on top -- like to find a way to keep the team in Nassau.Here's?Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport), via ?Newsday, voicing his concerns about the plan:[sny-box]"We'd prefer to see a shorter [construction] time frame so we can get men and women to work sooner. We also want to explore keeping the (New York) Islanders (hockey team) in a revamped Coliseum, at home in Nassau where they belong."The Islanders are scheduled to leave Nassau in July 2015, when their lease expires.But there was a lot of discussion about keeping the Islanders, and Chief Deputy County Executive Rob Walker, speaking for the administration of County Executive Edward Mangano, said they are still working on trying to keep the Islanders in Nassau.[/sny-box]So yes, you're reading that correctly; nearly a decade after the Lighthouse Project was approved by the Democrat controlled County and killed by Town of Hempstead Republicans, and two years after a bond referendum failed (backed by County Republicans and railed against by Democrats, such as Jay Jacobs), we've got both a Democrat (Abrahams) and a Republican (Walker) talking about trying to keep the Islanders in Nassau County. They are a day late and a dollar short, and that's being generous.Although it seems as though Ratner's plan will jump all the hurdles necessary, don't worry, not all Nassau politicians are interested in playing nice with the new development plan for the Coliseum.Today, there's an important primary in the county for the Democrats. Voters will choose who will run against current County Executive Ed Mangano. Democrats Tom Suozzi and Adam Haber are squaring off in that race and in a recent debate neither was complimentary of Bruce Ratner's plan for the Coliseum which, if you're keeping score, was achieved under a Republican:[sny-box]On Tuesday night the candidates offered different takes on a range of fiscal issues, from county borrowing to fixing the tax assessment system.But the candidates were briefly united in their criticism of Mangano?s recently announced deal with developer Bruce Ratner to revamp the aging Nassau Memorial Coliseum.That agreement, which Mangano has described as a victory for the county after the New York Islanders announced they would be moving to Ratner?s Barclays Center in Brooklyn, would see more than $200 million in private investment into the Nassau Hub and a revenue sharing agreement with the county.But both Democrats attacked the plan, with Haber saying the county had undervalued the property and Suozzi calling the proposal unambitious.[/sny-box]Ah yes, nothing unites two competing politicians quite like something achieved by the opposing party.Sidebar: Of particular note in that excerpt is that the guy who approved the mega-huge Lighthouse Project calling Ratner's small-than-the-Lighthouse proposal "unambitious". On the flip side, his opponent said the County "undervalued" property, despite literally reviewing multiple proposals and choosing the highest bidder. If you're keeping score at home; the Hempstead Republicans killed the Lighthouse, Democrats opposed the referendum and now both sides would like to keep the Islanders while still maintaing criticisms of the proposed development plan.All these years, all these proposals and these guys still don't get it.The ship of keeping the Islanders in Nassau sailed, captained by Owner Charles Wang and given exceptionally strong tailwinds by Nassau politicians. You can blame Wang for not keeping the Islanders in Nassau, it was his decision after all, but the inability for Nassau politicians to get out of each other's way and even make so much as a half-assed attempt to get something done is astounding.The Islanders are gone, heading towards the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. And as the saying goes, he who laughs last, laughs longest.[sny-box]In an interview with Newsday, Islanders owner Charles Wang laughed when asked about the idea that he could break his new lease in Brooklyn and move the team back to Nassau County in the future.[/sny-box]
Tags: Arena News, Islanders, Kevin Schultz

Last night, Islanders GM Garth Snow joined Gary Harding on WGBB 1240 AM in New York for an interview. Snow was asked about the Islanders opening training camp in Brooklyn, and the Islanders GM mentioned that the team would take the train to the Barclays center on Thursday:[sny-box]"We start the first day of main training camp at the Barclays Center, so that's going to be an exciting day for sure. We're gonna take the team on the Long Island Railroad and take the train right to Barclays. So it's going to be a fun day Thursday when we hit the ice for the first time in the Barclays center, but on the flip side we recognize what a special place the Coliseum is..."[/sny-box] The Islanders will host the opening day of training camp at the Barclays Center on Thursday, and then return to the Coliseum and Iceworks for the rest of training camp. Snow also commented on Andrew MacDonald, who is slated to become a free agent at the end of the season and is likely due a raise:[sny-box]"I've had communication with his agent, we obviously would like to bring Andrew back... We have a player in Andrew who wants to be here and as a lot of these negotiations go, it just comes down to term and money. That will play itself out. It's still, obviously, early in the process... He's not a free agent until next summer and we realize how important he is to our team and we'll try to get something done."[/sny-box]
Tags: andrew macdonald, Arena News, Islanders, Kevin Schultz

The Islanders announced that as a precursor to training camp next week, there will be a rookie camp starting Friday at the Coliseum. The kids will wrap up mini-camp on Tuesday, followed by team physicals on Wednesday and full-on training camp starting next Thursday in Brooklyn.Rookie camp attendees are, but are not limited to: Calvin de Haan, Matt Donovan, Kirill Kabanov, Anders Lee, Scott Mayfield, Brock Nelson, Anders Nilsson, Andrey Pedan, Ryan Pulock, Griffin Reinhart, Ryan Strome, and Johan Sundstrom.Speaking of Brooklyn, a sort of weird thing happened with the Islanders website yesterday.The team unveiled the marketing slogan for this season, "A Shift in Power", and it looked suspiciously like the Brooklyn Nets website. It appears to be using the same font and there's also a lot of black in the color scheme. This should't be too surprising, given that the team's marketing is now being run by the Nets -- corporate synergy! -- but of course there's always the worry that the traditional orange and blue will be replaced by black and white. It doesn't make sense to draw any serious conclusions from this, though.One suggestion for the Islanders when they do eventually change the third jersey (I mean, they will, right?) please don't unveil it like the Sabres:https://twitter.com/BuffaloSabres/status/375259866157555712As far as the Barclays pre-season game that is coming up in almost two weeks, Chris Botta writes on twitter (disclosure: person who used to write things in this general vicinity) that the capacity for the game will only be 13,000 fans. However, the arena plans to have 15,000 full-view seats by the time the Islanders call the arena home in 2015. The important note here is that these are full-view seats, and not "13,000 plus a few thousand where you can't see the net".Also, John Tavares lost three teeth (ouch):https://twitter.com/StapeNewsday/status/374889600046465024
Tags: Arena News, Islanders, Kevin Schultz

It's only August, so most media outlets haven't yet put together their pre-season predictions for the Islanders. It's still really early. But as Lighthouse detailed earlier this week, the Hockey News is out in front of everyone (because they have to actually print the darned thing? I'm not sure). They've got the Islanders pegged for fifth in the new Atlantic Metropolitan Division, which I guess is some respect as it's more than the usual "none". But it also puts them outside of the playoffs, as THN predicts only the top-three will get in to the dance.

  1. Pittsburgh Penguins
  2. New York Rangers
  3. Philadelphia Flyers
  4. Columbus Blue Jackets
  5. New York Islanders
  6. Washington Capitals
  7. Carolina Hurricanes
  8. New Jersey Devils
To my eye, it's not a bad ranking. The Rangers could have an up year, they are only two years removed from a (regular season) Eastern Conference title, after all. Although how the hell do the Flyers make the playoffs after last season's train wreck and the fact that they don't have a goalie (and no, Ray Emery doesn't count until proven otherwise)?

But this is the debate that makes the summer go by, so share your thoughts in the comments.

Tags: Arena News, Islanders
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One of the arguments that's cropped up since Bruce Ratner won the RFP on the Coliseum has been whether or not this paves the way for the Islanders to stay in Nassau County somehow, someway.

Ratner and Wang are business partners in Brooklyn,?Mangano brought in Ratner to advise him on the Coliseum and ultimately chose him to re-imagine it. Surely, there's got to be a way for all three to parlay this into the Islanders staying, right?

Well, not so fast. On Twitter, Chris Botta says the chances of that happening were long gone?adding that Ratner didn't lure the Islanders to Brooklyn only to let them go back to the suburbs away from the urban transportation hubs. Newsday's Randi Marshall even talked to Ratner himself, who said that the Islanders will not move back to Nassau citing the remodeled venue as too small.

Tags: Arena News, Islanders, nassau coliseum
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Last week, the big news was obviously Bruce Ratner's group winning the RFP to redevelop the Coliseum. In Newsday, Randi Marshall detailed how the deal got done, which included intensive meetings from both sides.

Marshall writes that lawyers hired by the county met with each group -- MSG and Forest City -- twice a week for the last month for up to 10-hours per day trying to get the best deal. It was basically negotiations between the three sides, with the County's lawyers trying to extract everything they could:

[sny-box]County officials said they tried to focus both finalists in the final weeks on limiting the county's expenses, particularly for utilities and maintenance, taking ownership and control of the arena as early as possible, and giving the county revenue even before a newly renovated arena opened.

Tags: Arena News, Islanders
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The Sound Tigers have provided a statement to Point Blank on their tenure in Bridgeport, Connecticut following Bruce Ratner's proclamation earlier today that the team will occupy the Coliseum when the Islanders head to Brooklyn:

[sny-box]"Our agreement with the City of Bridgeport ends on?August 31st, 2020. We have seven years remaining on this deal. The Sound Tigers have an agreement to play in Webster Bank Arena until then and plan on doing so until we hear otherwise from our owner. There is no agreement in place between the Islanders organization and the Ratner Group or Barclays Center. The Sound Tigers love being in Bridgeport and absolutely plan on spending at least the next seven AHL seasons here"[/sny-box]

Charles Wang owns both the Islanders and Sound Tigers in addition to Harbor Yard Sports and Entertainment, which manages the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.

Tags: Arena News, Prospects, Sound Tigers

Today in Mineola, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano announced that the Forest City Ratner bid, headed by Bruce Ratner and Brett Yormark, won the RFP to develop the Coliseum site.

Mangano said that the Forest City bid guaranteed the County $4 million in parking and ticket sales revenue each year, which was $1.4 million more than the MSG proposal. Newsday had reported earlier in the week that the winning developer promised the County a higher annual lease payment.

Point Blank detailed the Forest City's proposal back in May, which you can view here.

Tags: Arena News, nassau coliseum

Newsday is reporting that the Coliseum developer will be named on Wednesday morning at an 11:30am press conference. Per Newsday:

[sny-box]A review committee, composed of county officials, was expected to make its final recommendation to Mangano late Tuesday evening or early Wednesday, with an announcement coming at a news conference in Mineola Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., sources said. The review committee has been meeting since last weekend.

A second news conference is expected to be held Thursday at the Coliseum with the winning bidder. The two finalists, sources said, have not been informed about the county's decision and are expected to find out Wednesday morning.[/sny-box]

Tags: Arena News, Islanders
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Yesterday morning, Crain's broke down the race for the Nassau Coliseum between the Madison Square Garden/Rechler bid and the Forest City proposal. It's a good read but doesn't delve deeply into the bids; it focuses more on the people and businesses behind the bids.

One interesting note that is new from the article is that Scott Rechler doesn't want to look at the Coliseum. So much so, that he re-designed his office in the RXR Plaza across Hempstead turnpike to face away from the arena. Rechler was once a partner on the Lighthouse Project, and now joins James Dolan and MSG's bid to revamp the property. From Crain's:

[sny-box]Despite their myriad differences, both contenders readily agree on one thing: The Coliseum is an eyesore. It is so bad, in fact, that Mr. Rechler, whose development company, RXR, is headquartered directly across Hempstead Turnpike from the arena, went to great lengths to avoid having to look at the thing. When he was moving into his office, he had the original plans ripped up so that his own office faced out the opposite side of the building. The switch added two months to the build-out process, but now it is the company's cafeteria that has the view of the Coliseum.

Tags: Arena News, Islanders, scott rechler
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Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano is expected to make a decision as to whom shall win the rights to renovating the Nassau Coliseum sometime this month. The list has been narrowed down to Madison Square Garden and Forest City's bid, with Ed Blumenfeld joining up with the latter.

Lately, both competitors have been in the news for the breaks they receive. A couple of weeks back, Madison Square Garden's operating permit was given only a 10-year extension, which we mention because MSG gets a cool $15 million tax break -- estimated to be $350 million total since 1982 -- to continue doing exactly what it's doing. And what it's doing is "operating a successful business in midtown Manhattan."

In yesterday's news headlines is Forest City Enterprises, the parent company of Forest City Ratner, which has one-upped MSG with taking a supposed $2.6 billion -- that's billion with a B -- in government subsidies over the last decade. The Post reports that part of that was gained due alleged kickbacks of campaign contributions, which the company has spent $23 million on in the last decade, $5 million in New York City alone, according to the report.

Tags: Arena News, Islanders, nassau coliseum
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Since the Nets have moved to Brooklyn, they've been a sports marketing success story. One of the newest pushes that the Nets are making is towards Russian and Russian-Americans in the New York area, including launching an entirely Russian language website.

Last week, the New York Times reported that there may be a similar approach with the Islanders:

[sny-box][Yormark] said they would seek new fans, including ethnic Russians and others who live in New York and may be hockey fans. The Islanders will receive a share of the revenue generated by suites used for hockey games. [/sny-box]

Tags: Arena News, Islanders
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Earlier today, the Barclays Center tweeted out a photo montage (right) of the arena's hockey setup taking shape. It might be the best photo we've seen so far, taken from a side view of the ice surface.

As mentioned on this blog last week, the scoreboard is off-center and looks like it is over one of the bluelines. The photo also sheds a little light on what will happen in the end zone where things get a little tight. It looks as though -- unless things change -- there will be no seats behind the glass on the lower level on that end (the empty section in the second tier is supposed to be like that, even for basketball games). It also seems like the upper bowl on that side will have an awfully hard time seeing the near net, but I guess we won't know for sure until September.

Tags: Arena News, barclays center, Islanders

When the Islanders head to the Barclays center for their first game at the arena on September 21st, a pre-season tilt against the Devils, the public will finally have a look at what a hockey rink retro-fitted inside a basketball arena will look like.

It?s not going to look like a traditional hockey arena.

The picture to your right?came to light in September 2012 showing the rink setup. In it you can sort of see how the scoreboard will be hanging over one end of the ice and not centered as it normally would be.

Tags: Arena News, barclays center, Islanders
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Yesterday on Twitter, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark responded personally to Islanders fans who had pinged him about potential color scheme changes and their desire to stay with traditional colors:

Tags: Arena News, brett yormark

There have been focus groups supposedly exploring some changes to the Islanders brand, and promises that the Islanders won't change their logo as long as they're owned by Charles Wang.

However, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark is still trying to figure out how to incorporate black and white into the Islanders color scheme, which he calls 'the colors of Brooklyn.'?The Nets wear black and white jerseys that say Brooklyn on the front, and those have been quite a success for the team. Guard Deron Williams had the sixth best selling jersey in the entire NBA this season.

In a long 15-minute interview with Russia Today, Yormark touched on a lot of topics including how he hopes to add black and white into the Islanders color scheme. He did not give specifics as to whether it would be the jerseys, the logo or maybe only a third jersey. Transcribed by NetsDaily:

Tags: Arena News, barclays center, brett yormark, Islanders
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Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City has embraced bikes as another transportation alternative probably best seen in the Citibike program that recently launched. At the Barclays Center they've taken things a step further, trying out a bike valet service for a recent concert.

The Barclays has a massive bike rack that can hold up to 400 bikes. According to NetsDaily, Barclays paid Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group to be 'bike valets' on Wednesday night:

[sny-box]Transportation Alternatives, under the rubric "One Less Car," provided valet service, locking the bikes and holding on to the helmets, then at concert's end, returning both to the riders. Like a coat check for bikes. About 100 riders took advantage of the free service Wednesday.

Tags: Arena News, barclays center, Islanders
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After the last couple weeks, Islanders fans and other Long Island residents have heard plenty about Bruce Ratner?s almost Lighthouse Project-level vision for the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum property (Ratner even compared it to the Eiffel Tower at the public hearing earlier this month, which had to have Lighthouse proponents of the mid-?00s shaking their heads). There is also the Ratner-Yormark promise of six Islanders games in front of 13,000 fans at the Coliseum starting in 2015, even though it?s uncertain whether that?s a promise they can keep.

For the sake of equal time, Point Blank is providing some insight into the vision of the other major player in the RFP ?- the Madison Square Garden Group. Although MSG cannot offer the tease of six annual Islanders games -? ?but the Garden, the NHL and seemingly everyone else can block it -? their proposal is not without merits. Take away those Islanders games and there?s as much, or arguably more, to admire about MSG's plan than the Ratner plan.

"We are thrilled with the opportunity to bring the power and magic of The Madison Square Garden Company?s legendary brands to the Nassau Coliseum and the people of Long Island," said Hank Ratner, President and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company, in a statement provided to Point Blank.

Tags: Arena News, Islanders
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