By Nick Colombo
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Over the weekend, Newsday did another one of their big fancy stories lamenting the state of the Islanders. The article worried, as many Islanders fans do, that the team may one day leave Long Island. A few days later, Chris Botta, on his blog Islanderspointblank, suggested the Islanders get their act together now so the town of Hempstead will want them to stay when the lease ends in 2015. There’s an obvious question here no one has the guts to ask, so I’ll do it. Who cares if the Islanders stay on Long Island?
Every time we have this discussion, where we consider the Islanders leaving Long Island, I am blown away by the parade of fans and writers waxing poetic about staying in Hempstead. Do yourselves a favor folks, read an economics book, wake up, and smell the 21st century. We can all have a fun time thinking back to the glory of days of the Islanders being your hometown super local sports team, but it’s time for all of us to face the reality of modern day sports. If you’re a real fan that actually wants the Islanders to be good again in your lifetime, you should be saying your prayers every night that the team packs up and moves into the city.
It’s a sad reality, but tiny local franchises that serve a small community just can’t survive in today’s big money corporate sports world. In Saturday’s article, the Islanders celebrate their efforts to attract corporate sponsors like… Bethpage Federal Credit Union. You know what bank is a corporate sponsor for the Mets? Citibank. You know what bank sponsors the Yankees? Bank of America. You ever hear of a little company called American Express? Yea, they sponsor the Rangers. There is just no way the Islanders can survive as a franchise, let alone compete, if they don’t have access to the same kind of revenues other big time modern sports franchises do.
It’s time to cut the cord. The Nassau Coliseum is a dump, and I don’t care if the Isles win three cups between now and 2015, in this economic climate, no local municipality is building them a new anything. So it’s time to stop complaining and hoping the Islanders stay in little suburban Hempstead, NY. In order for this team to ever attain its former glory they need to pack up, move west to Queens, and embrace the fact they’re called the NEW YORK Islanders.
Should the Islanders move? Comment below.
- Islanders Staying Put Until At Least 2015 (newyork.cbslocal.com)