Barclays Center Will Cut Financial Ties With Islanders

From Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who owns the building and the Nets, has since November been seeking an investor to take a stake in both. As of earlier this month, a financial projection shared with potential investors showed the Islanders won’t contribute any revenue after the 2018-19 season — a clear signal that the team won’t play there, the people said.

In July, Bloomberg News reported that Ledecky and Malkin were considering building a new arena adjacent to Citi Field in Queens. Prokhorov now owns the team’s former home, the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, but the owners paid a hefty premium for the team in 2014 based on the pending move to New York City. They have shown no interest in returning to Long Island.

My take: This is Barclays response to Gary Bettman’s comments over the weekend when he stated that the Islanders were committed to New York, but not the Barclays. Again, the timing of this is wretched. The Isles are on a good streak and making a playoff run and to throw this bomb is going to overshadow what they could do this year. Islanders management need to figure out where they’re going to play because there isn’t enough time to get a new building in place in two years time. Which also brings up another interesting question: Could the Isles play one season at the renovated Coliseum and then move to Flushing or Belmont? Those two areas are of interest for the new Islanders owners, John Ledecky and Scott Malkin. For now, fans should worry about the next game against the Capitals but the reality is that this possible comeback season may be overshadowed with same issues that have haunt this franchise for years once again. It’s time for the Islanders to have a place to call their home and no longer be tenants to anybody.

PK

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