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Isles In Trouble Relocation Possible


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Barring a dramatic turn of events, Charles Wang’s October 3 deadline for approvals on the Lighthouse Project is almost certain to come and go with little action from the Town of Hempstead. And when it does, the Islanders owner will have no other choice but to open conversations with other municipalities interested in Long Island’s National Hockey League franchise.

Community leaders in Queens, start preparing your pitches. Bruce Ratner and the people of Brooklyn, if you want an NHL team to join the Nets, the Islanders are mostly-unrestricted free agents in just over four months. If you have a plan and land in Suffolk, County Executive Steve Levy, here’s a chance to maintain the heritage of the Island’s only major professional franchise.

Kansas City, Mr. Balsillie - opportunity knocks.

And if you have a few hundred million to spare and want to commit to keeping the Islanders in Nassau County under this lease and without a development deal, here’s a chance to get yourself on the front page of Newsday. Declare that you have real money and a sincere desire to want to save the Islanders.

http://www.islanderspointblank.com/2009/05/lighthouse/

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Its a shame its come to this, the Isles are not the Yotes or the Preds, this is a franchise with a storied history. Wang is reportedly shopping the team already, and coincidentally, the Isles will play a presason game in Kansas City in the fall.

The Isles reportedly will be allowed to stay in Nassau until 10-11 but after that they have to be in the Lighthouse or out of town. However, there is no way to keep a profit margin in the green in that building even if the team starts winning.

This shows that its not just the poor hockey markets fault for losing a team. If you don't win, nobody comes.... period. Sure Wang's business plan wasn't great, and its humurous how much he blames others when he should've known what he was getting into.

If you go into any market, and don't win, and don't have a proper means to aquire funds (sold luxury boxes, corporate sponsors etc.) you will fail unless the city has a huge intrical connection to the city, and even then its possible to fail.

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It's not just the losing obviously. It's the way the economy is right now. Also there are a lot of teams in that area as I pointed out to HardfordWhalersFan. Thats why hardford whalers had to be moved to Carolina. The people in Canada love hockey the most and will support it during times when they have to choose what to spend their money. They should move some of the teams up to Canada or just remove some of the teams. It will be difficult as a lot of peolpe will lose their jobs and a lot of people are already out of work, but I think the NHL is way to big.

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Why is it that getting a new arena will bring in a team or save a team.........Carolina has a brand new Arena but yet Karmano's has lost money every year but one. Phoenix has a great arena but yet we know their story. The NHL is not the same league it was in the 80's , if it was things would be much different. I will argue till the cows come home that cities such as Winnipeg, Quebec and Hartford can support a team , it's the league that needs to be helped. Greed has over taken it. It's happening though before our very eyes. The league is imploding, Bettman is losing control. In time the league will need to re-invent itself and realize that this game will always be a regional success not a nationwide success. In the U.S this game will nevr be what Bettman wants it to be...NEVER WILL HAPPEN and when this league finally does finish imploding then maybe, the owners and the commish will turn to what the league used to be and bring back hockey to those cities.

and as one pointed out on the whalers board ...yeah there is still a whalers message board!!!

........Until the league started expanding the NHL was a fan driven league. It wasn't until the 1990s did the league turn into a bunch a greed filled morons holding cities hostage and demanding taxpayer funded palaces and millions in corporate support from local businesses. I've stated repeatedly that no one back in the 80s pointed at Hartford's 12,000 attendance as a problem because it was enough to pay the bills. Back then even the Bruins old arena only held a little over 13,000 fans. The salaries were modest and the owners were a lot more fiscally disciplined because back then they didn't have the taxpayers to fall back on when they made poor business dealings.

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I was reading more about the Wang "lighthouse project". It is a heck of a lot more than simply an arena. It is a 150 acre development estimated at $3.75B. Originally the lighthouse was going to have included a 60 story tower resembling a lighthouse and now the plans call for 2 30 story towers, residential housing, a 5 star hotel, office space, and a convention centre. Think the size of the development is what is keeping it from being approved.

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Wang has nobody but himself to blame. When he and Sanjay Kumar bought the Isles, they were able to create a revitalized Isles' team. With Laviolette behind the bench, Chris Osgood in the net, a Michael Peca still in his prime, and even a rejuvenated Alexei Yashin, the Isles were a solid team challenging the Devils for the division. They made the playoffs. People in the NY area was interested in the Isles again. People were making comparisons to the 1980's. Then they fire Laviolette, and trade Osgood to St. Louis, the only things those guys ever did after leaving the Isles is win the cup.

They get rid of their good players, they hire the backup goalie to be the GM after they fired their old GM who has a ring and only been on the Isles' payroll for about 2 months. They hire Ted Nolan from exile, and give him the most F'd up team one could patch together, that includes a young goalie signed to a 15 year contract. Despite it all, Nolan gets them to the playoffs. Of course they then fire him. It seems every time the Isles have something good going, they just screw it up. The state of New York could exacerbate it's current financial crisis by building an arena for Wang and the Isles, and still Wang will lose money. He has no hockey sense.

I really hope they don't try to blame the Rangers for their problems.

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I believe the NHL will have to revamp and it will happen soon. I understand Hartford can't compete in todays NHL but there are many existing teams that won't be able to also. I also believe that greed was a big factor in making the NHL what it is today and I also believe the days of Bettman may be numbered. Understand I am not looking for the NHL to fail but I am looking for the NHL to come back to earth and realize what they are and what they will always be.

Hopefully, the people in charge can see that the southern expansion is not working. It did not bring a wider audience to the game. It did not bring in a national tv contract, it did not bring in higher ratings on NBC. It did bring 5 teams that are not making $$. What baffles me and makes me agree with CTPackfan is the possible if not definite bankruptcy of the Dallas Stars. That should be a clear sign of things to come in a league that is making it impossible for a team to run and make a profit. The salaries are too high for the revenue generated by the team, With no national tv contract money , then teams are left relying on gate revenue and corporate money.

Maybe the day will come sooner than we think , when the NHL will need to re-invent itself in a way but basically they need to go back to their prior operating practices as stated by CTPackfan and then they will need to look at placing teams in solid hockey markets such as Winnipeg,Quebec and Hartford where a new but refurbished arena would suffice in all of those areas. It is for that reason after following the NHL for so many years that I got so angered by comments on the Hurricanes boards when they called for no teams in Hartford or any in Canada but rather they called for teams in Houston, Las Vegas, Kansas City and so on. Which would be more of the same and really would only hurt the league. those people are new to this sport and are living in a dream world of what they want this game to be....... Bettman himself states that the Coyotes if they need to move should go back to Winnipeg. Wouldn't he be calling for KC or Vegas, did he learn anything? Maybe but I doubt he did.

I am sure someone will correct this post with facts possibly stating otherwise but I would like to believe this. I don't see how teams outside of Canada can continue to lose money in todays NHL and expect to be here in another 5 years. We need to somehow keep Hartford on the radar and on peoples minds. We do have a 16,000 seat arena ( roughly) ready to go for an NHL team and that is a plus for us.

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  • 3 months later...
Any news on what happened? I didn't even hear about this until right now.

Not looking good, the day sessions came off with a sense that the city cares more about the traffic, enivoroment and surrounding housing and communities then it does the gross revenue and culture the Islanders bring to the area.

The night session could change things, but as of now I would bet on the Isles relocating.

It gets worse, Kansas City who is supposed to be a frontrunner for a team, in their display on NHL affection, pulled in 10000 last night for a Kings Blues preseason and the attedance is supposed to be just as low if not lower tonight for the Kings vs the... well Islanders.

This could lead probably to a Canadian relocation IMO, I don't know if Wang would pay a relocation fee to Hamilton, maybe Winnipeg is a better choice.

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Looks like KC isn't thrilled with the Isles, in tonights Islanders Kings game in KC they drew about 3000 fans...........

On the night session, I got a tremendous amount of respect for Wang in those few amount of hours. He absolutely nailed it as the board unfairly battered him and his team with repetetive questions that were already in recorded, sumbitted documents.

Some highlights in quotes from Wang:

“I don’t understand a lot of the questions they’re asking because they’ve been addressed time and time again and are in the reports we’ve delivered to them,” Wang said outside the Adams Theatre at Hofstra University. “But more than that, I’m a little discouraged by some of the contentiousness.”

Murray asks Wang to ask his suppporters to show some civility. Wang does, and then tells the audience his name is pronounced WONG, “like the Yankees pitcher.”

Also Wang full out yelled at the city representatives when they were battering his traffic consultant, saying they should stop acting like bigshots and pushing them around, “when no one has the answers.”

Its 50/50 now in my opinion on whether they stay or not, the deadline is Oct 3rd, we will know by then.

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Looks like KC isn't thrilled with the Isles, in tonights Islanders Kings game in KC they drew about 3000 fans...........

A whole 3000???? What a hotbed of hockey. Bettman must be foaming at the mouth. :P

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I'm all for a team being re-located as long as it's not already a Canadian team, or one of the Original Six teams. As for a team relcoating from the States to Canada - bring er' on.

I'd argue that other than Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton the Islanders have a prouder history than any of the other Canadian teams (and probably also more than, say, Chicago as an original six).

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I was reading more about the Wang "lighthouse project". It is a heck of a lot more than simply an arena. It is a 150 acre development estimated at $3.75B. Originally the lighthouse was going to have included a 60 story tower resembling a lighthouse and now the plans call for 2 30 story towers, residential housing, a 5 star hotel, office space, and a convention centre. Think the size of the development is what is keeping it from being approved.

I think someone needs to tell Wang that he's the owner of the New York Islanders, and not the New York Rangers.

$3.75 Billion? There's probably only 3 teams in the league who could come up with that money. 3 Easy guesses to which ones I'm talking about!

And I agree with what oldHartford is saying. Hockey needs to be relocated to areas not only where hockey is popular, but where a franchise itself can give back to the community, and thus get people into their stadium in return.

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I think someone needs to tell Wang that he's the owner of the New York Islanders, and not the New York Rangers.

$3.75 Billion? There's probably only 3 teams in the league who could come up with that money. 3 Easy guesses to which ones I'm talking about!

Thing is they have the funding, they just need the approval.

And I agree with what oldHartford is saying. Hockey needs to be relocated to areas not only where hockey is popular, but where a franchise itself can give back to the community, and thus get people into their stadium in return.

JHaul said this perfectly in the Phoenix thread, the issue is you start to recycle old fans instead of creating new ones.

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JHaul said this perfectly in the Phoenix thread, the issue is you start to recycle old fans instead of creating new ones.

Paying customers are paying customers. And if you move the team to a place with a core base, you have a better chance of growing the game from that base and thus making new fans. What's the good of creating 3000 new fans in Kansas City when you can immediately grab 10000 fans in, say, Hartford (just an example with nonsense figures, please don't hold me to 'em) and the chance to turn those 10000 fans into 20000 fans within 5-10 years? Whereas your 3000 'new' fans in KC are never going to amount to more than what they are: insufficient to keep a hockey team afloat, no boost to merch sales, no leverage for securing a better TV deal, nothing.

Grow your game where it's historically strong, and use that growth to obtain a good TV deal. When the time is right and your business is solvent, then start looking at expansion into non-hockey markets. Expansion per se isn't the problem. It's the way Bettman rushed into it in the '90s, and how he stubbornly clings to those sinking franchises today. One or two T-Bays or Phoenixs every 15 years wouldn't be a bad thing. But adding T-Bay, Phoenix, Nashville, Florida, and Atlanta in such a short span of time when core franchises like the Penguins, the Islanders, and the Canadian teams were already struggling was beyond stupid. Now the NHL is overextended and weighed down by the deadweight.

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Thing is they have the funding, they just need the approval.

JHaul said this perfectly in the Phoenix thread, the issue is you start to recycle old fans instead of creating new ones.

Its better to bet on a sure thing than relocate to a market that will potentially fail. Big money is involved would you be willing to bet everything you had on a potential market or go for the sure thing? Weep as usual is right on and said it better than I.

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Paying customers are paying customers. And if you move the team to a place with a core base, you have a better chance of growing the game from that base and thus making new fans. What's the good of creating 3000 new fans in Kansas City when you can immediately grab 10000 fans in, say, Hartford (just an example with nonsense figures, please don't hold me to 'em) and the chance to turn those 10000 fans into 20000 fans within 5-10 years? Whereas your 3000 'new' fans in KC are never going to amount to more than what they are: insufficient to keep a hockey team afloat, no boost to merch sales, no leverage for securing a better TV deal, nothing.

Grow your game where it's historically strong, and use that growth to obtain a good TV deal. When the time is right and your business is solvent, then start looking at expansion into non-hockey markets. Expansion per se isn't the problem. It's the way Bettman rushed into it in the '90s, and how he stubbornly clings to those sinking franchises today. One or two T-Bays or Phoenixs every 15 years wouldn't be a bad thing. But adding T-Bay, Phoenix, Nashville, Florida, and Atlanta in such a short span of time when core franchises like the Penguins, the Islanders, and the Canadian teams were already struggling was beyond stupid. Now the NHL is overextended and weighed down by the deadweight.

I never denied any of this, I have always been in favor of a North relocation at the present time because there is a lot of diehards who are not being used especially in this economic time.

However I am still heavily in favor of the Souther expansion continuing to start producing new fans.

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Well if it makes Kansas City feel better apparently ticket sales for the preseason game in Winnipeg tonight have gone badly. To the point they've lowered the prices in the hopes of getting more than 9000-10,000 tonight.

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Looks like KC isn't thrilled with the Isles, in tonights Islanders Kings game in KC they drew about 3000 fans...........

Well if it makes Kansas City feel better apparently ticket sales for the preseason game in Winnipeg tonight have gone badly. To the point they've lowered the prices in the hopes of getting more than 9000-10,000 tonight.

Well the games in Saskatoon sold out in 30 minutes. Mind you the credit union centre only has 11,000 seats.

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Pre season games in Hamilton sold out quickly in the early years and became a harder sell later on. My guess is that people got tired of supporting other teams while being used by the NHL. Whenever the city didnt sell out a game it was thrown in our faces by the media that we wouldnt support an NHL team. That type of logic wears a little thin after awhile.

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