Nassau County to Announce Major Sports-Entertainment and Casino Plan. You Buying?

"Which hoop do I jump through next?"

The regular readers are hip to this news in comment discussions here and there, but to offer it to those who missed it and to our friends from around the league: Yes, there is a major announcement planned for tomorrow morning (11 a.m.) from Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano about "a major Economic Development and Job Creation Plan to build a world-class sports-entertainment destination center."

The Islanders have not announced anything differently but are sharing the media advisory from the County Exec's office. [Update: They will also stream the presser live at the official site.] Surely for the better PR bang (sorry to call you "Shirley"), there will be more details leaking trickling out tomorrow morning [$5 please] and then another push of detailed announcements at the time of the presser. Newsday had two unnamed sources talking about a bond issue for "as much as $400 million," which would be some kind of irony after Charles Wang's efforts to privately fund his own development were denied.

More on this and speculation after the jump...

Interestingly, the County advisory also adds [emphasis mine]: "After months of intense media speculation, the County Executive will also announce plans to pursue the construction of an Indian gaming casino," leading this humble tone-decipherer to think the sports and casino developments are related but not necessarily related as in at the Coliseum site.

Bossy only knows how the usual and plentiful levers of local politics are turned up to 11 in Nassau County, so I can only dream under my tinfoil hat about how the mechanics of each development will be proposed in order to scratch all backs.

And who will be there? Who supports it? No doubt Charles Wang, or else we've got problems. But the advisory touts the attendance of "hundreds of local business, community and labor leaders."

Am I excited? Yes. Am I totally reserving judgment and keeping my hopes at basement minimum? Absolutely yes. Depending on where you put the milepost, a proper replacement for Nassau [gloriously unsponsored] Veterans Memorial Coliseum has been a major issue for three, 10, 15, 20 and yes 25 years. Every Islanders fan young and old has been put through the ringer, largely with forces far beyond their control doing the ringing.

What we do know is that sometime between now and 2015, there will be an answer about what ice rink the Islanders call home going forward. I doubt the answer comes tomorrow -- there will be hurdles, and objections, without question -- but maybe tomorrow is the beginning of the end of this torture, a glimmer of light on the horizon.

Or, maybe it's just one more instance where a spark of hope ignites before being trampled by those all too happy to stand in the way of anything changing, ever. I'm just a selfish observer who follows the team in Nassau and has developed friendships with people who live there. To so many of you, this goes beyond a sports team. Fingers crossed that we all get what's best.

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