The New York Islanders may yet again be in arena trouble if Coliseum shuttered.
Construction is back on track for the New York Islanders arena at Belmont Park after being put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. After construction re-started, President of Hockey Operations and GM Lou Lamoriello indicated that Belmont was still on track to be completed on time.
With Belmont, the Islanders need for a long-term home was settled for the first time in years. Then earlier this year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Islanders would play all of their remaining home games at the Nassau Coliseum. And just like that, the Islander’s short-term issue was also settled.
For the first time in a long time, the “where will the Islanders play” question had answers. There was certainty and stability for the Islanders. And then a report from Bloomberg crushed all of that certainty.
On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Sports and Entertainment will shutter the Nassau Coliseum indefinitely.
"Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Sports and Entertainment, which operates the arena under a lease from Nassau County, is planning to shutter the venue indefinitely while it seeks investors to take over operations and pick up the remaining debt on the building, according to people familiar with the matter."
The Islanders arena drama is back again. It isn’t yet confirmed, but if Onexim shutters the Nassau Coliseum, the Isles will have to find a place to play while they wait for Belmont to be completed.
The Barclays Center is still there and could still accept the Islanders. It’s not where the Isles want to be and it isn’t where most fans want to go. But it’s still a good short-term option for the team.
For one thing, a move back to Brooklyn wouldn’t be permanent. Belmont is still being constructed and should be ready for the 2021-22 season.
Let’s also not forget that the Islanders hold a pretty good record in Brooklyn. In 154 games at the Barc, the Isles hold an 85-48-21 record.
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This is still a moving story. But it’s clear that the arena drama we thought was long-gone is back again. 2020 just gonna 2020, right?