Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Coliseum Collapse and the King's Hangout

Tough news for the Islanders, the Coliseum plan is rejected in Nassau County. But, austerity is the word of the day. If this was truly a good idea financially, why aren't the banks lending the money to Wang?

Voters reject new Coliseum plan --

Nassau County residents Monday rejected a plan to borrow up to $400 million for a new Nassau Coliseum and minor league baseball park.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, the vote was 57 percent against to 43 percent for the referendum, according to the Board of Elections website.

"The people of Nassau County have spoken and I can take joy in knowing that we celebrated democracy today," Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano told supporters at the Coliseum Monday night.

"Over the course of the past several weeks, we all learned a lot about our county and what is needed to improve our local economy," he said. "I can tell you this, tonight is not the end of our journey, but merely the beginning. In the coming weeks I will explore a path for new opportunities and growth in Nassau County."

Islanders owner Charles Wang , speaking after Mangano, said, "I have to tell you I'm disappointed and to put it very bluntly, I'm heartbroken. I have to tell you it's a very emotional day for us."

Wang said that, despite the disappointment, "we're committed to the Nassau Coliseum until 2015. We will honor our lease."...
As a reference point here is a note from Wikipedia explaining how Jerry Jones built the $1.15 billion Cowboys Stadium:
Originally estimated to cost $650 million, the stadium's current construction cost was $1.15 billion, making it one of the most expensive sports venues ever built. To aid Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones in paying the construction costs of the new stadium, Arlington voters approved the increase of the city's sales tax by 0.5 percent, the hotel occupancy tax by 2 percent, and car rental tax by 5 percent. The City of Arlington provided over $325 million (including interest) in bonds as funding, and Jones covered any cost overruns. Also, the NFL provided the Cowboys with an additional $150 million loan, as per their policy for facilitating financing for the construction of new stadiums...
Maybe the overpaid Gary Bettman should have had the NHL kick in a few bucks to help build the thing.The NFL contributed 13% of the cost of Cowboys Stadium. If the NHL had put in $40 million, or 10% of Wang's project, the public total would have been $360 million. Take out the minor league ball park, or save it for later, and get the public cost down below $300 million, would that have made a difference?

Stan Fischler weighs in with some options:
Columnist and sports-business authority, Evan Weiner points out that a number of cities across the country, appeared doomed to lose their teams because of arena issues but, in the end, solutions were found.

"Seattle said no to baseball in 1994," Weiner tells me, "and then the city opened a new ball park in 1999. Charlotte said no to a new arena and then wound up opening a new one. Pittsburgh said no to baseball and football stadiums and opened new ones. 'No' is never no!"

In terms of the Islanders, several possibilities are available: As one former NHL team president tells me: "Charles Wang has a good, solid site in Uniondale and there are the resources on Long Island to get it done in one way or another. It's there to be done but it will take time and work." ...

The King is in King.

Henrik Lundqvist is interviewed by the Swedish King Magazine (Modemmagasinet). The translation is a little rough, but you'll learn that one of his favorite hangouts in New York, other than his apartment and his new restaurant, is the Standard Hotel Beer Garden.

Standard Hotel Beer Garden: the outdoor Biergarten, located underneath the High Line, which features a classic German menu complete with the finest sausages, flavorful beers, and delicious pretzels. It is at 848 Washington St.; 212-645-4646. Sounds good to me.

The Biergarten is under the High Line Park, which runs under and through the Standard Hotel, only in New York baby.

The Henrik Lundqvist Blog:
Henrik Lundqvist King Magazine Interview -- Full day with Henke...

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