We all knew it was coming, but today it finally came. The New York Islanders and the Barclays Center are officially in the renegotiation phase of their 25-year contract. Let the fun begin.
Newsday reported today that Barclays Sports & Entertainment has officially informed the New York Islanders that the renegotiation period, as part of their lease agreement at the Barclays Center, opens today.
After months of posturing, it’s here. After reports that the Isles had been kicked out -although not at all true- for not being lucrative enough. After months of stories about where the team will play. Were finally here.
Both the Islanders and Barclays now have until January 1st, 2018 to bargain in good faith on a new deal. Or simply opt out.
New York Islanders
Both the Barclays and the Islanders have the option of opting out of the deal. Depending on who opts out will decide when the Isles actually have to move out of the Barclays.
If the Isles initiate the opt-out clause then they can leave at the end of the 2017-18 season or at the end of the 2018-19 season. If Barclay’s opt-out, then the Isles are out at the end of the 2018-19 season.
Neither side can opt-out of the deal until January 30th, 2018.
We know that the Isles are going to submit an RFP (request for proposal) for a development at Belmont Park. Who knows what that proposal will call for, but whatever they plan on building won’t likely be done by the start of the 2019-2020 season.
If everything goes smoothly the arena could be done by then. It took just over two years to build the Barclays Center. That’s only if you consider the time between when ground was broken to when the building was officially opened.
If you don’t consider the endless bureaucratic and legal nightmare that took place before that, then it took another year to three years. At one point Barclays was scheduled to be open as early as 2006.
The Isles are going to need some time to get through all the red tape. They’ll need time to work through any sort of legal action or lobbying that they might face. And time to properly consult with community groups.
The Islanders need time to sort out and actually build a new home, and the Barclays Center needs to make more money. That’s what these renegotiations are going to center around.
With the process actually being opened we as fans can only hope this gets done quickly and without any nastiness being spewed from either camp.