I've often wondered about the economic factors hindering this franchise: An outdated building; low attendance; poor economy; lack of mass transit connection; the lease with SMG etc. One in particular has interested me: Charles Wang has maintained that a simple renovation to completely modernize the Coliseum (Murray has said she'd seek stimulus funds to finance it), or even build a new arena next to it, are not economically viable for this franchise. But many franchises play in an arena by itself, without any development projects supporting it. The fact is, the Islanders play in a good market, and we all know the potential is there when their competitive. But how good is the market?
I'm going to compare the Isles market to that of several other franchises. I'll list the market, the population of the venue's immediate city, followed by the population of the city's metro area. Last I'll list our own market's statistics. (Keep in mind that our market's immediate city is TOH, and that for this thread our metro area will only include Nassau and Suffolk counties, though our market is arguably larger. Stats are of only U.S. markets above the mason-dixon...except for kansas city-couldnt resist)
Pittsburgh: 311,647/2.46 million Columbus: 754,885/1.7m Buffalo: 270,240/1.24m Kansas City: 488,299/2m
Detroit: 910,920/4.4m Long Island: 755,924/2.74m
Now oblviously other factors could be at work here, such as Wang simply using the franchise as a catalyst for real estate development. I'd rather not focus on that. Here's my real question: If the Islanders were sold, would a simple renovation/new building be economically viable for the owner?
(All statistics regarding population were gathered from the most recent census)