Voters in Nassau Country have defeated a referendum for a new $400 million sports complex and that may mean the end of NHL hockey on Long Island.New York Islanders owner Charles Wang had been betting on the bond proposal as a last ditch effort to save his struggling franchise.
The current Nassau Coliseum is widely regarded as one of the worst arenas in all of sports. It’s certainly one of the least attended.
Numerous proposals have been floated over the last 10 years to either upgrade or replace the ageing stadium, but they’ve all been rejected by a county that already pays some of the highest taxes in the country.
Wang says he will honour the current lease, which expires in 2015, but if no new arena is built before then, the team will almost certainly relocate to a more favourable location. Given the attitude of voters who have wised up to the folly of public financing for stadiums, the team will have to build a new Long Island arena itself … or find a new state to play in.
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