Monday, November 19, 2012
Bruce Ratner to Rebuild Hub
...and what an interesting development this is.
According to LIBN http://libn.com/2012/11/19/monti-ratner-picked-for-nassau-hub-project/ Bruce Ratner, who helped lure the Islanders to Brooklyn, will be "selected to either rebuild the aging Coliseum at the site or construct a new sports/convention arena that will be designed by Populous, an internationally known arena architect".
Populous (formerly HOK sport) has designed premier sporting venues around the world, including the Olympic Stadium in London and CitiField. Ironically, the company is headquartered in ... wait for it... Kansas City, Missouri.
The development rights for the 77-acre parcel will be awarded to Donald Monti of Plainview-based Renaissance Downtowns,according to LIBN.
The Ratner angle may help explain Charles Wang's rather gracious comments about Ed Mangano when the Isles announced their move 3 1/2 weeks ago.
Monti was interviewed by Islanders Point Blank over the summer http://islanderspointblank.com/news/exclusive-renaissance-downtowns-ceo-donald-monti-if-charles-wants-to-stay-here-i-think-we-can-help-make-it-happen/ and stated his intention to keep the Islanders on Long Island.
"I go back to the four successive years that they won the Cup and at that time I was a season ticket holder. To me it would be an absolute shame for any area to lose a professional franchise. What's going to keep the Islanders here is a positive momentum and we have to make sure that's the message that resonates constantly. I think I'm the only respondent that's committed to do that."
Monti wasn't right on one point: "Certainly Brooklyn beats Kansas City," Monti said when the subject of the Islanders moving in 2015 was broached. "But there's something that tells me if Brooklyn could have been done, it would have been done."
With Ratner involved in this project one has to wonder whether the Islanders' time at the Coliseum could end before 2015. If the NHL could get an agreement done with its players anytime soon (and preserve a 64-game season), it would appear that there would be 114 games left on the Coliseum lease for the Isles.
I wonder how many of those 114 might end up being played in their new home in Brooklyn.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick