Nassau County wants Islanders back? Too bad.

It looks like Long Island wants its former NHL tenants back.
The newly renovated Nassau Coliseum. (Photo: Getty Images)
Nassau Coliseum. (Photo: Getty Images)

Monday night was supposed to be all about the New York Islanders' possible move to a brand new arena near Belmont Race Track in Elmont, NY. 

 

Instead, a report by Newsday just hours before did nothing but make an uncomfortable situation even more unpredictable. 

 

Robert Brodsky and Jim Baumbach reported that Nassau and Suffolk County legislators will hold a press conference on Friday and urge the Islanders to move back into their former home, the Nassau Coliseum, after further modifications are added to the arena. 

 

The Islanders played at the Coliseum from 1972-2015, but an inability to renovate the arena while keeping the team at home forced the team out to Brooklyn, where they are currently playing at the Barclays Center. Much of that had to do with the same legislation that is now begging the team to come back, although the personnel has obviously changed and does not include the likes of former Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, whose name is like a swear word to Islanders fans. 

 

It's been a disastrous stay in Brooklyn though. Attendance is down, the arena is not fit to house hockey and the building's owners are not willing to make the necessary changes to fix those issues, meaning the team is set to leave following the 2018-19 season via an opt-out clause in their lease agreement. 

Upon the Islanders' departure from Uniondale following the 2014-15 NHL season, the Coliseum underwent a renovation that took almost two years, re-opening just three months ago as a concert and special events venue. 

However, the arena right now can hold around 13,000 fans, which is not nearly suitable for a NHL franchise. So in order for the Islanders to come back, Nassau County would have to close the arena once again and modify it further. 

Sounds silly, right?

It probably wouldn't get to that though seeing as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has already made it clear that he would prefer the team not to return to the Coliseum. 

All signs point to Belmont, leaving Islanders fans pining for a return to the "Old Barn" to relish a lone preseason game that will be played there on September 17 against the Philadelphia Flyers. 

Then again, it never really should have come to this in the first place. But that's where you can thank corrupt politicians. 

 
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