Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano still believes New York Islanders could return to the newly renovated Nassau Coliseum.
During annual State of the County address, Mangano said that “he strongly believes there is a path for the Islanders to return” to the Coliseum. The comments came early in Mangano’s 76-minute State of the County address, which was held at the Uniondale venue.
“We now have the opportunity to showcase a new arena here to a team known as the New York Islanders,” Mangano said. “So we definitely prescribe to ‘if you build it, they will come.’ We built it and it’s up to them to come. But I suspect our fans will remind them what a beautiful facility we really do have here.”
The renovated Coliseum reopened last Friday during a ribbon cutting ceremony and press tours of the facility. Monday was the second time in less than a week Mangano had been at the updated venue.
“I believe Nassau County has positioned itself for serious consideration by the team,” Mangano said. “When you factor in the support of Long Island fans, I believe we are an attractive option for the New York Islanders.”
Reports have indicated that Islanders ownership has not been happy with the conditions at Barclays center, from ice quality to attendance to the obstructed seating in parts of the arena. The Islanders do have an opt-out clause in their 25-year lease with Barclays Center that they could exercise and team has been looking into sites in Belmont and near Citi Field to construct a new arena, according to Newsday.
In mid-March Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reported that the Islanders and Barclays Center were renegotiating a temporary agreement, but the Islanders uncertainty in Brooklyn has helped keep glimmer of hope, in some people, that the Islanders would return to the Nassau Coliseum.
Islanders’ ownership met with Mangano in November to discuss a possible return to the Coliseum.
Mangano’s comments on Monday came three days after the newly renovated Coliseum was unveiled to the media on Friday, and just hours before GOP leaders from the Nassau County Legislature called for Mangano’s resignation as county executive.
Among those calling on Mangano to step down was the legislature’s presiding officer Norma Gonsalves, who was on the dais with Mangano during Friday’s Coliseum press conference. Gonsalves was the only speaker during Friday’s event to mention the Islanders.
The newly renovated seats 13,900 for hockey, although Mangano said seats could be added to accommodate the Islanders, and features more modern amenities throughout the arena.