Hey, did you know Brooklyn is in play? Hey, would that be an E4 or E5???
No Eklund is not expounding on the Lighthouse with his rumor system. Instead, it is the kind of flotsam and jetsam that is making the rounds. However, someone better tell Brooklyn who is set to break ground with an architectural plan that is basketball only.
In fact, that was cited just a few weeks ago at one hearing, which was not denied by those Atlantic Yards principals. In fact, the answer was as follows:
“We’ve looked at the revenue streams and feel very, very comfortable, and numerous people will come out and show that they’re comfortable with the structure,” Gregory Carey of Goldman’s public sector and infrastructure banking group.
Carey and his group are the underwriters of the Ratner project and is the guy who put the deals for the Yankees and Mets together for their venues. Nowhere in that answer is a denial that the size of the new venue they are going with is not anything but basketball. For the question posed was putting forth the point that the facilities now doesn’t allow space for hockey at all.
So his answer is….big whoop.
So, it doesn’t exactly sound like somehow the Isles will just sneak right in. And if they do, they better work on their three point shots.
Still smoking the Brooklyn peace pipe? Here is an example of what is going on with the battle between residents and those proponents. Are they options? Yes. Just the other day was another court battle and win for the developers over there.
To add to it all…
Atlantic Yards, Brooklyn and Willets Point, Queens have a wonderful sidecar to all of this, which we haven’t quite experienced with that the hooting and hollering over in Nassau County. They have people who live there who don’t want it there at all.
Now does this mean these are not options? No, of course they have SOME validity. Anything can be worked out. But only within reason.
Despite a tooth and nail fight by residents, they are losing the war trying to overturn the eminent domain. However, they also have 3 other lawsuits against the Atlantic Yards developers. Queens has done the same, recently knocking down a lawsuit by business owners there.
So, how in hell is Brooklyn in play? Seriously? Really? How? With their former architect booted who had the hockey/basketball venue as a layout…they replaced it with a far cheaper and quicker setup that is too small for ice hockey, unless the Isles are going to farm a pee wee team. Oh wait, that was last year.
So, as Brooklyn rushes to dig into the ground based on design that WILL NOT fit a hockey ice surface, are they going to stop based on rumors and suddenly rethink it? Not necessarily. They are rushing because the economic recession forced them to move faster, cheaper and with a scaled down approach. Hmm…scaled down, huh. Fancy that.
Queens too has been mentioned around and about…which seems more likely since the Lighthouse Project most assuredly threw an RFP their way before the deadline. But, since that breaking of ground is a long way off, maybe that’s not such a good leverage rumor anymore.
And, folks, isn’t this all about leverage in the end? I mean, there need to be some sort of hot rumor or onus because let me tell you…the ToH isn’t buying it.
Likely options? Not so fast, quick draw. The likeliest option is the one staring us all in the face, where the Lighthouse Project principals must reduce the size and scope, lest it be a foregone conclusion. If Charles Wang, as it has been boldly stated, wants to be in Nassau County…well, now is the time to show it.
The Change In Climate:
Ed Mangano, as I reported here and on the Huffington Post weeks ago…won the election. Absentee ballots tend to run older, older on Long Island tend to run right, so lo and behold, not surprising to the ToH, Lighthouse Project or anyone else… Suozzi tanked,conceding the race.
But, hey, let’s not all start crying over Tom Suozzi, the so-called “friend of the Lighthouse”. Here is a guy who politicized it like a lightning rod, and meanwhile he and his party seemed to forget he was actually running for something. This man and the people around him were so stuck on big projects and looking to move up politically, they lost the 8 year footing they had made.
Suozzi and Democratic involvment and support of this project on a political wrought landscape on Long Island has basically put the Lighthouse Project and Isles fans in a limbo. Like a vampire invited in, they sucked the blood, dropped the puck, “brokered” the handshake but also played it as a political card only to lose. Charles Wang made a supreme misguided mistake to once again open up trust to someone who DID NOT have the Islanders organization nor it’s fans best interest at heart.
So let’s not all start playing the violin like somehow Suozzi is a victim. There is only one victim in all this…Islander fans.
Now, after months of petulance, obnoxiousness, playing the media, press and bloggers, we now sit in their Media Silence as we all watch Isles and Lighthouse Project leverage fly out a window.
But, oh…that’s right, there haven’t been any meetings. Right? Riiiiiighhhhht. Look at the fine print after that mystifyingly statement that simply stunned me when I know for a fact they have…more than once. But here is that little fine print...see it? Look harder…
“No meaningful meetings since October”
Oh, how sneaky…making it seem that they had no meeting at all. It is very likely they haven’t met in November thanks to the election and confusion thereafter that had BOTH sides adopt a wait-and-see attitude.
Hmmm, tricky words, huh. Must be some Public Relations whiz playing around at something.
Thanks to many Islander fans and blog fans emailing and tweeting for me to respond to the latest blog from Pointblank. Chris Botta is an excellent blogger with excellent resources, and though I don’t quite agree with his latest one, it doesn’t mean he’s lost integrity. He happens to see it one way, I see it completely different. If we all said the same thing, how boring would that be? He’s a guy who bled Isles blue and orange for 20 years as an employee. He has solid Islanders and Lighthouse contacts, despite the “media blackout”.
Chris and I have had our good times and bad. I even shot his video in Freeport when he wanted to speak out to fans back in August to not make the Lighthouse Hearing about him and his site. The night before I was to leave NY for vacation no less.
But I won’t make any bones about it…I don’t buy all that was said in his latest wholesale. I hear the Brooklyn talk…which has been bandied by him before, and also by those close to Charles Wang to me back near October 3rd, and scratch my head. I even skewered it back in a previous blog. But I do not doubt that Brooklyn is being talked about by those around Wang. Maybe to offset attention to the Queens option? Or just to get something…anything…to ply between the negotiation between Wang and the ToH.
Borough President Marty Markowitz has been the only person really talking about hockey….how he’d love them to come over. Except this is a blowhard who, much like the Queens Chamber of Commerce guy who says “Islanders” every chance he gets for public facetime. Meanwhile, bloggers in Brooklyn had caught the discrepancy a long while ago.
So Let’s Get Back To Reality
To me, it’s not about Queens or Brooklyn. We will worry about and consider that when we get that.
It is about Nassau County. The Lighthouse has to swallow some pride and wake up and smell the coffee. As does the Republican regime who is bouncing around the not-very-bright idea of perhaps re-looking at the lease deal Suozzi did for Wang.
Both sides here need to get off the high horse and get down to business. And fast.
If Charles Wang won’t reduce the size and scope more than 10%, might as well go to Queens or Brooklyn and see how it goes. 10% won’t cut it. That ride to Brooklyn or Queens is not paved in gold, not easy, and has a large issue at hand that Nassau Coliseum does not. New York City using Eminent Domain on citizens for private sector use. Sure the developers have won the latest court battle, but there are a lot more bumps in the road than Long Island political guile, hubris and ego.
Maybe it’s time for Long Islanders to lose some of that and make something on Long Island actually worthwhile.
Just my take on the subject. But then again, this isn’t my full-time gig. I can’t sit and worry about pleasing the audience or building one. I need to please myself, and hopefully that take is an honest objective one. Thanks for the support.
About the Author: B.D. Gallof is a published writer and hockey blogger. He writes about Hockey, NY Islanders & the NY Islanders venue situation for CBS New York. BD has been written up in Sports Illustrated, TSN.ca, the NY Times Slapshots blog, Yahoo's Sports and SportsBusiness Journal. He has been a featured blogger for The Huffington Post, as well as owner, lead writer, and managing editor at HockeyIndependent.com.