By B.D. Gallof, WFAN.com
NEW YORK (WFAN) — According to what has been floating out of the office of Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano lately, some sort of decision on the Hub’s venue future is going to come from the Islanders “soon.” That is, if you believe what has been revealed by Deputy Executive Robert Walker.
The problem is only Nassau County is talking right now, and it seems like it’s only the lawmakers and the prospective developers trying to get an advantage.
Remember, the county power brokers are the ones who have felt that the Islanders are going to Brooklyn. They have said so for quite some time, which seems to coincide with them beginning their own procedure on an RFQ and courting new developers for the area.
The RFQ attempt did not exactly impress the Islanders or those close to the situation, with many believing it was more about saving face.
Whether developers are serious or not on sharing revenue and making plans that include the Islanders is not the issue here. What is beginning to develop is pieces of an end game. This seemed to be further solidified by Charles Wang after he was reportedly hanging out over at the Barclays Center to see its ice rink set-up testing.
According to an NHL source, Wang will use the new developer aspects in Nassau to put more pressure on Barclays for a good deal. As I put forth on Twitter as a tidbit a bit back, two home team dressing rooms have been constructed in the facility. In addition, per the same source, the seating situation could be readily modified if a long-term tenant is in place.
In fact, if you want a real date to explain the meaning of “soon,” expect something to finally lock into place with the Islanders by the summer of 2014. This would position the team to reap the buzz of going to Brooklyn like the Nets received. That time frame would also give the Islanders a year to push for new fans and season ticket holders.
Why so long from now? Well, ask yourselves: why would the Islanders announce anything that would hurt current ticket sales before then?
And, by the way, any deal in Brooklyn would NOT be short term. Not a chance. Brooklyn is not a way station here. The borough wants a long-term tenant and any offers will be as such.
So now it’s all on Barclays to ante up.
Meanwhile, we will hear more on Nassau pushing out an effort to make something happen out of nothing. As a Nassau resident, I would certainly appreciate some realistic option to be pulled from the ether. But, realistically, as per sources close to the Islanders situation have stated to me, “It’s a bunch of nonsense.”
So as we all listen and read about the latest iterations of the county grabbing a law firm, take it all with many grains of salt. It will take shovels in the ground and some real miracles to get any substantial traction if Nassau is to be a real option, and not just a bunch of supposed intention. Intention is what got us here in the first place.
What we have not seen here is any substantial plans.
Meanwhile, Wang has visited the Barclays, which is looking for a tenant. Arena head Bruce Ratner and the Isles are in communication.
These are the real things, not the Nassau-written hot fiction.
Read more columns by B.D. Gallof and follow him on Twitter at @BDGallof
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