Today was supposed a big day for the New York Islanders: clarity on their future home was expected. However, due to a report that Nassau County wants the Islanders back, today things only got more confusing.
When one of my friends approached Jon Ledecky at the Blue-White scrimmage, he asked fans would find out about the New York Islanders arena situation.
Ledecky replied that there would be a hearing on July 10th (which there was), and also said fans would be happy with the results.
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I cannot say I am happy with the results of today’s hearing — if anything, I am confused.
A Surprising Report
Earlier today, Newsday reported that after being kicked out of the Nassau Coliseum, the New York Islanders are wanted again in Nassau County.
This news is extremely surprising, and it distracted fans from the main event of the night: a Belmont hearing. While it is unknown why Nassau and Suffolk legislatures are entering the arena sweepstakes now, it is most likely a negotiating tactic.
If there is competition over who can house the Islanders, it will make Belmont perhaps ask for less when discussing the financials of a deal.
It seems unlikely that the Islanders would return to the Nassau Coliseum, especially with Gary Bettman publicly opposing a move. Add that to the fact that the arena is too small and now meant for concerts, it seems unlikely a reunion will take place, so don’t look too much into the report.
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Today’s Hearing Was An Interesting One
The main event of the night was a hearing at the Elmont Memorial Library where fans could voice their opinions over an arena in Belmont.
New York Islanders fans showed up in numbers, and many took the floor to express their opinions. There was little talk about the Islanders returning to Nassau Coliseum or staying in Brooklyn — but it was all about Belmont Park.
Fans were generally positive that the arena would stimulate the economy, create jobs, and be a benefit to the city of Elmont. A large number of fans who spoke were in favor of the move, which shows the optimism over the Isles possibly moving in.
New York Islanders
One fan talked about how there would be an increase in jobs because of the necessity for people to staff the arena and sell tickets. Another said that it would help hotel sales and help bring more people into the community. There was also talk over NCAA events and graduations taking place in the arena.
The feedback was not all positive, however. People were concerned the arena would be solely for hockey, nd commented that there would be an increase in noise, air, and light pollution. Some also said that there were better options than building an arena.
Surprisingly, a lady took the stage and said that instead of building an arena, an organic farm should be grown to help bring organic produce to the community. The crowd of Islander fans booed her off the stage.
Summary of Today’s Events
Not much was determined in this hearing, but fans were able to vent about the Islanders future. While it was unrealistic to expect that there would be big news, today still felt like a letdown.
The false hope of returning to the Coliseum was in full spotlight, and the report that lawmakers would push for a return to Nassau distracted fans from what should be the end goal: Belmont Park
Fans should be happy that a new arena is likely, but to not take this opportunity for granted. It is great that so many showed up and supported a new arena in Elmont, but fans cannot give up.
The Islanders need some clarity, and today did not clear things up. So hopefully, we find out in the near future that Jon Ledecky is getting his ultimate wish: a brand new arena for the New York Islanders.