Photo of a New York Islanders game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Image Credit: Doug Kerr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Sports fans see it every year. The owner of a professional sports franchise, usually of a historically poor performing team, asks area residents to help pay for a new stadium or arena. When the idea is rejected or met with poor reception, the owner then threatens to move the team to another city who is willing to go through with construction. 

Why does threatening to vacate always seem to work? When professional sports franchises leave cities, thousands of jobs are lost, parking garages lose revenue, area vendors are also no longer utilized by the franchises. Surrounding businesses that setup shop because of the stadium's initial construction also suffer.

The most recent case is owner Charles Wang, owner of the NHL's New York Islanders, who has been asking for hep to build a new arena for the Islanders for many years. Many Long Island residents seem to think Wang has the money to fund the project alone while Wang sees it as a chance to help rebuild Long Island. Don't New York City metro residents pay enough taxes already?

Long Island voters rejected the proposal earlier this month. However, the Islander's lease with Nassau County keeps them in the Coliseum for four more years which means the proposal will likely come up again. Wang had even arranged for the Islanders to play an exhibition in a Kansas City arena that is trying its hardest to attract both an NBA and NHL team. One still cannot deny that Nassau County Coliseum is perhaps the worst arena in the NHL.

It would be wise for Long Island voters take some time and read up on the Hamilton County stadium fiasco in Cincinnati. In addition to the headaches the taxpayers get from watching the Bengals every Sunday, the taxpayers are also reminded of the half cent tax increase with every local purchase they make. Let's be honest, the New York Islanders are a near equivalent to the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals in terms of talent.



Related Articles