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Islanders Owner Pours Water on Coliseum (and Barclays), Again

Ledecky says team fully focused on Belmont, but will be in Brooklyn next season

New York Islanders Introduce New Owners
He has his reasons.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Yesterday you may have seen (and discussed in our daily bits thread) that Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment CEO Brett Yormark uncharacteristically — but surely strategically — admitted that their business plan in taking over the business of marketing the New York Islanders in Brooklyn has not worked.

Today we heard some exquisite answers out of Islanders owner John Ledecky — about focusing on Belmont, about not returning to the Coliseum, and about, heh, what Yormark said.

The background context here is the opt-out/renegotiation clauses that both the arena and the NHL team have for renegotiating now and opting out at the beginning of 2018. Smart money is that both sides could use each other to extend the relationship even as the Isles attempt to win the RFP to build a new home in Belmont: The Isles still need a home, and BSE could still use revenue, albeit on better terms than what they originally reached with the Islanders.

First, again, here’s Yormark as reported in Sports Business Daily: in a Q&A where he stressed how they “constantly emphasize Brooklyn as a market that has a cool and hip factor” when recruiting artists:

The economics just don’t work. It’s a Long Island team trying to create a fan base in Brooklyn, and to date it has been met with very modest success and not at the numbers we have hoped.

Here’s Ledecky, quoted by Newsday’s Jim Baumbach as the Islanders owner met with reporters:

Tee hee.

The other key quotes coming out of Ledecky via Baumbach had to do with reaffirming for the umpteenth time that the Islanders would not be back at Nassau Coliseum:

...and while the Isles “have blinders on right now” focused on their submitted bid for the Belmont RFP — which he insists is not a real estate play, a criticism sometimes lobbed at previous owners — he’s not going to discuss details of the plan publicly.

Follow Baumbach and News12’s Kevin Maher for more, and surely a full story in Newsday (update: Here it is.), including Ledecky discussing reasons he thinks Belmont will work as the future home for the Islanders.

That’s your Islanders off-day Arena Drama for the day. It’s a saga with roots dating back to 1983, or 1981, or really from the moment the franchise was founded and indeed the day its original imperfect home was created. And it’s nowhere near over.

Not Only But Also

What, you want more recurring drama you say? It’s nothing really, but sure: