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Islanders announce new practice facility and offices at Hicksville's Cantiague Park

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Pact keeps the team's foothold (and some money) in their ancestral home.

OK, listen up. The bathrooms are over here.
OK, listen up. The bathrooms are over here.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Islanders and Nassau County announced an agreement that will make the ice facility at Cantiague Park the team's official practice rink and business offices.

The 10-year partnership calls for the Islanders to provide five open practices, two scrimmages and three autograph sessions to fans annually, as well as the establishment of a new team Pro Shop on the site.

Located in Hicksville, a stone's throw from Nassau Coliseum,  the Cantiague Ice Facility was founded in 1966 and hosts hockey, figure skating, free skates and lessons for kids and adults. The Islanders will spend over $5 million to renovate the facility, using funds once ear-marked for the late, lamented Lighthouse Project. Revenue will be shared with the taxpayers.

From the team's official release:

The Islanders will invest $5.1 million to enhance the public facility.  Wang had deposited $4.5 million with Nassau County in relation to The Lighthouse Project.  This money has remained in escrow.  These funds, and an additional $600,000, will be utilized to enhance the Cantiague Park Ice Facility and avoid any litigation over the escrowed amount.

The move allows the Islanders to keep a strong foothold in their ancestral home even after their move to Barclays Center. It's probably not enough to "lure the team back to Nassau" as county executive Ed Mangano hoped when he first teased the plans a few months ago. But it lets the existing fanbase in Nassau stay close enough to get an autograph or a puck from a bucket at practice (not to mention buy some swag at the team store) while the team expands to Brooklyn.

And it's privately financed, generates money for the community and doesn't need to get wrapped up in legal and political red tape. At least, let's hope it doesn't.