Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the National Hockey League, recently spoke about the controversy surrounding the redevelopment of the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, home of the New York Islanders.
Bettman almost sounded like he wouldn’t mind if the Islanders left Nassau County, though generally speaking, the Commissioner is hopeful the team just stays put.
Another WFAN radio interview
In the midst of NBA strike talk, Bettman, while a guest on WFAN’s Mike Francesa radio show, airing Monday through Friday 1-6:30 pm, offered up some advice about the quagmire that has squashed plans for rebuilding the Nassau Coliseum, along with raising any new venue there.
Though he’s changed his tune several times, Islanders owner Charles Wang has already indicated that he would not let the team skate one day past their current Coliseum lease when it expires in 2015. All sides agree the edifice is in need of serious repairs, jeopardizing the future of the historic facility.
In Neil Best’s October 24, 2011 Newsday column, “NHL Chief: Islanders deadline gets close,” concerning the Coliseum quandary, Commissioner Bettman is quoted as saying, “But the team has to have a new building and it has to be concrete plans on the horizon that’s going to get it done. Otherwise, we’re going to have a problem.”
Though the Commissioner acknowledges there’s a problem, he does not provide any answers, leaving the Islanders, their fans, the county and just about everyone else right back at square one.
According to Bettman, “I don’t know exactly how we’re going to solve that problem, but it’s inconceivable to me the Islanders wouldn’t be on Long Island because it would be malpractice for those in charge to let that happen.”
The theory of evolution
The solution to the “what do we do now about the Nassau Coliseum” problem has not been solved by smaller feeders in the local political food pond, including the Islanders Charles Wang, Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano or anyone else swimming among them. The Coliseum’s emergency can now move upstream to perhaps lure the bigger fish bathing in Albany.
About the failed past attempts to renovate in Uniondale, Bettman said, “I thought it broke down along political lines as these things do, and it was unfortunate.” Another prominent voice weighs in without a solution.