NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, along with others, visited the newly renovated Nassau Coliseum Tuesday to see if it could be a temporary home for the Islanders, per Newsday's Jim Baumbach.
The Islanders received word that they will likely get the official lease to the Belmont Park property in Spring 2019 after an "environmental review process" that will start in March, and would likely take "12 to 16 months." With the team's current lease at Barclays Center up after the 2018 season, they will need to find a one-year home as the arena would be ready until the 2020-21 season, barring any setbacks.
The Coliseum was never in play as the team's permanent residence, but one year while the new arena is built wouldn't hurt. This is why Bettman, along with Isles' co-owner Jon Ledecky, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment CEO Brett Yormark, and Long Island Association CEO Kevin Law, toured the Coliseum to see exactly what was renovated.
Bettman has always been a proponent to stay away when the Coliseum even if it was temporary. However, after the Islanders won the bid to Belmont, he decided to give it a chance.
The Coliseum received a $165-million renovation last March, and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which runs the Coliseum as well as Barclays Center, said it is "prepared to facilitate any necessary enhancements" to the arena to make it suitable to host the Isles. The tour, which took 90 minutes after a half hour meeting, could have been done to see what exactly needed to be improved still.
The Islanders and Barclays Center are currently negotiating opting out of their 25-year lease. Per contract, the team will have to play the 2018-19 season in Brooklyn next year, but there may be a possibility to see games at the Coliseum next year.