UNIONDALE, NY — There was a a lot of congratulating one another and pats on the back at Nassau Coliseum during the press conference held to announce more details regarding the winning bid for the aging arena.
But some interesting facts did come to light with connection to the Islanders and the new AHL team that will play there once it is renovated.
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are headed to Long Island once the new Nassau Coliseum is completed. Bruce Ratner confirmed what a lot of fans had been speculating by announcing that the Isles farm team would head south to Long Island. Though the news seemed to come as a surprise to Sound Tigers President Howard Staffan. Staffan told the Connecticut Post’s Michael Fornabaio, “We absolutely do not have any arrangement in place (re: Sound TIgers to NVMC). Our owner has not executed any agreement.”
The Sound Tigers have also released a statement to Islanders Point Blank echoing similar comments.
“Our agreement with the City of Bridgeport ends on August 31st, 2020. We have seven years remaining on this deal. The Sound Tigers have an agreement to play in Webster Bank Arena until then and plan on doing so until we hear otherwise from our owner. There is no agreement in place between the Islanders organization and the Ratner Group or Barclays Center. The Sound Tigers love being in Bridgeport and absolutely plan on spending at least the next seven AHL seasons here”
During the press conference Ratner said that it would be the Sound Tigers that would move to the Coliseum “assuming they come to good agreement with this landlord.”
Afterwards Forest City Ratner Executive Chairman Bruce Ratner also put to bed the idea that the Islanders could or would ever return to Long Island (for more than six games).
“I don’t think so,” he said. Because at the end of the day this place will be beautiful and it’s going to be great for concerts. But for a professional sports team to play here all the time you have issues with suits and boxes and whole bunch of other things.”