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New York Islanders Move Back to Nassau Getting Political Bump

Apr 25, 2015; Uniondale, NY, USA; A general view of the ice surface prior to the final game that the Islanders will play in Nassau Coliseum between the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders in game six of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2015; Uniondale, NY, USA; A general view of the ice surface prior to the final game that the Islanders will play in Nassau Coliseum between the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders in game six of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
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A new push to get the New York Islanders back to their traditional home has begun, but this time has some pretty serious political clout behind it. Can it work?

Just two days ago long time New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle started a campaign to get the New York Islanders to pack up and head back to their traditional home in Uniondale.

The campaign asks Islanders fans and New Yorkers, in general, to sign a petition requesting that the New York Islanders move back to the now renovated and incredibly long to pronounce Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Presented by New York Community Bank.

The subject of the Islanders leaving Brooklyn for greener pastures has been bandied about between the media and fans since they moved there in the 2015-16 season.

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Rumors had the team looking to nestling up to the Mets in Queens or using land at Belmont Hills to build a new arena.

Can It Work?

It depends on one factor and that’s money. Like it or not, it’s always about money.

The Islanders have a good deal at the Barclays. They get a reported $50 million every year and Barclays takes care or filling the seats. Back in Nassau, the Islanders were losing money trying to fill the place.

The interesting wrinkle here is that the owner of the Barclays Center, Mikhail Prokhorov, also owns the Nassau Coliseum. If they can recreate the same deal the Islanders have at the Barclays for the Coliseum. Maybe there’s a chance here.

I just wouldn’t expect the deal to be as lucrative. The Barclays Center has a capacity of 15,795 for hockey. Where the renovated Coliseum will only hold 13,000. So then the question becomes, do the Isles move back ‘home’ on a lesser deal?

I don’t think so. It’s certainly a nice narrative and it would certainly be fantastic if the isles went back to the Coliseum. But economically it doesn’t seem to make sense.

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It’s not to disparage Senator LaValle’s petition. It’s a great sentiment and is certainly a good idea. And maybe if an outstanding number of people sign it, more than the 774 people that signed the Change.org petition, maybe it has a chance to peak Ledecky and Makin’s interest. But just in terms of the simple economics, I don’t see this happening.

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