NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There will be no escape from Nassau County after this season.
According to a report in Newsday, the Islanders will play next season, the final season of their lease, in the place they have called home since 1972.
After more than a decade of failing to get a new building, team owner Charles Wang announced a deal in October 2012 to move to Brooklyn. Starting with the 2015-16 season the Islanders will take up residence with the NBA’s Nets at Barclays Center, which was not built as a two-sport facility, but is being retro-fitted for hockey.
There had been speculation that the Islanders would leave Nassau Coliseum after this season after having preliminary discussions, Newsday reported, but the conversations did not accelerate and the idea was put aside.
The Islanders have leases with Nassau County and SMG, the Coliseum’s Pennsylvania-based property manager. For the team to leave early, all three parties would have had to sign off on a deal, Newsday reported.
In a statement released Wednesday, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said he was “looking forward to a successful 2015 Islanders hockey season.”
Wang, who bought the team in 2000, twice failed to get a new arena in Nassau. First, his $3.8 billion privately financed Lighthouse Project, which was designed to transform the 77-acre site the current arena sits on into a multi-use destination, was shot down by the Town of Hempstead because it was too involved, Newsday reported.
Then, in 2011, Mangano proposed a referendum that would have freed up $400 million to renovate the existing arena, but that idea was voted down by the public.
Ironically, the development group headed by Bruce Ratner, who built Barclays Center, was tabbed by Mangano to execute a privately funded $229 million renovation of Nassau Coliseum after the Islanders leave for Brooklyn.
In addition to the renovation, Ratner’s group, Forest City Ratner Cos., will build an adjacent plaza with attractions including restaurants, shopping, a movie theater and an outdoor amphitheater, Newsday reported.
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