Bruce Ratner wants to break ground in four months on the re-developed Nassau Coliseum, but there are some obstancles to clear before that can happen.
According to Newsday, the lease Ratner signed with Nassau County requires various conditions to be met before his group can begin construction.
"Ratner has to attract and sign a lease with an American Hockey League team; establish project labor agreements; finalize financing, including his plans to bring in $90 million in Chinese investment and any Industrial Development Agency aid he is expected to ask for; and receive all town approvals on detailed plans and environmental reviews for the Coliseum and its 'plaza,' the area surrounding the arena."
In March, Brett Yormark said that the new Coliseum would open with a University of Kentucky basketball game in December 2016.
That's a lot to get done in four months. And, with some of those items on the checklist subject to town approvals, we know all too well that things are likely to drag on. The easiest on the list is probably an AHL lease. I had heard speculation that the Sound Tigers were likely to move across from Bridgeport, and that still wouldn't surprise me, though I have no idea what their lease at Webster Bank Arena looks like. But this makes Gary Bettman's pessimism surrounding this project make a lot more sense.
Like I said last week, don't bank on the fact that Ratner's vision will ever quite be realized. Even if it is, it's very far from a sure thing that the Islanders will ever play more than a preseason game in the renovated Barn. As much as it's great to dream about the day the Isles return to Nassau, -- for better or worse -- Brooklyn is the only certainty in this franchise's future.