Hot off the Newsday presses comes word that Islanders owner Charles Wang has won his bid to buy the Twin Rinks facility at Eisenhower Park and has plans to convert the location into a full time practice space and offices for the team.
A bankruptcy court judge this afternoon will announce selection of Wang's $8 million cash bid for the assets of the privately operated Twin Rinks Ice Center, including a 30-year licensing agreement with the county, according to the sources, who requested anonymity until the process was finalized.
No, you're not going crazy. A few months ago, plans were for the Islanders to spend about $5 million bucks (that had been in escrow since the Lighthouse Project days) to renovate the older rink at Hicksville's Cantiague Park into a practice space and offices.
But the two-year old Twin Rinks, which is literally across the street from Nassau Coliseum and has two NHL-sized rinks ready to accommodate professional teams, was too good a deal for Wang to pass up. Quoth Newsday political writer Robert Brodsky:
The open practices and autograph sessions that were part of the Cantiague Park deal will have similar events at Twin Rinks, according to the source in Paul LaRocco's article.
One of the other bidders was developer Ed Blumenfeld who also lost out on the Coliseum renovation job to Bruce Ratner. Blumenfeld offered more money than Wang did, but Wang's $8 million cash on the barrelhead won the property.
What sounds like good news for the Islanders and Twin Rinks sure sounds like bad news for Cantiague Park, which was founded in 1966. The article doesn't specify what the future holds for that facility.
Court documents said Twin Rinks' expected $15 construction budget ballooned to over $50 million. Its bankruptcy caused the NWHL's New York Riveters, who had originally planned to set up shop there, to move to Aviator Events in Brooklyn. Islanders winger Matt Martin hosted his youth hockey camp last week at Twin Rinks.
We'll be back in November, when the Islanders buy Roosevelt Field Mall and move their practice rink and offices to the JC Penney on the first floor just past the Build-A-Bear Workshop and American Eagle.