Forbes Magazine, that staple of CPA offices nationwide, has released its annual NHL team values list and has the Islanders placed 18th, about 10 places higher than most of us probably thought they would.
The team’s value, according to the magazine’s mysterious algorithms, is currently $385 million. That’s an 18 percent
drop increase from last season. While Forbes has them taking in an operating revenue of just $2.7 million, it’s important to note that this is the first time the team hasn’t been losing tons of dough since 2007 (and probably earlier, but the handy interactive graph only goes back that far).
Probably not the best news that a $385 million valuation for the Isles is already $100m less than what new owners just paid for the team.— Peter Botte (@PeterBotte) November 30, 2016
Botte may be an unrepentant and often unfunny troll, but he has a point. Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin paid $485 for the club, finally taking over as majority owners from Charles Wang this year. They inherited a playoff team and a new arena with a funky set-up and an unusual financial agreement. One season-and-change in, things are still very much in flux with owner, arena and team all still looking for a successful synergy.
Islanders were valued at $139M in 2000 (14th overall) now at $385M, 18th overall per Forbes.— Ted Starkey (@TedStarkey) November 30, 2016
That $53 million the team gets every year from Barclays Center (on top of the $35 million they get from
Cablevision MSG Network to broadcast the games) surely make the Islanders more valuable in Brooklyn than they were in the crumbling wreck of Nassau Coliseum and even more crumbling political climate of Nassau County. But talking about the Islanders means talking about Barclays Center which means talking about the Islanders leaving Barclays Center.
Here, Forbes’ breakdown gets a little fantastical.
Look for the team to move out of Barclays Center following the 2017-18 season. Crowds have been small in Brooklyn where the team was guaranteed $53 million in exchange for the Barclays Center retaining all revenue generated by regular season hockey games. One area of interest for a new arena is in Queens near Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.
Unless Forbes knows something we don’t - like the presence of a medieval castle submerged somewhere under the Long Island Sound that arises every hundred or so years to unleash demonic evil upon the Earth and that’s move-in ready - the likelihood of the Islanders leaving Brooklyn a year and a half from now are pretty slim. Regardless of complaints about ice, sightlines and cars in the corners.
Negotiations to either modify, continue or opt-out of the agreement (Thanks, Tom) can begin after this season and continue to January 1, 2018. There will be a lot of back-and-forth and rumors and noise before, during and after that period, but without a place to actually move to (not to mention the need for it to be more lucrative to the club than Barclays is now), the Islanders are kinda stuck. Even if an agreement to build a new arena is struck between Ledecky, Malkin and somebody, it will be years before it’s built.
So keep that Metrocard handy, Forbes. Unless you’re betting on the Islanders moving to Quebec or Seattle.