The Islanders will not be leaving the Nassau Coliseum a year early, according to a Newsday report.
The report, citing sources, said the Isles had “preliminary discussions” about leaving the Coliseum after this season, but the talks never reached a serious level and the idea was dismissed. The Islanders lease requires them to play in the aging Long Island arena until 2015. To break the lease they would have needed permission from Nassau County and SMG, the company that runs the venue.
News that the Islanders will play one final season on Long Island should not come as a surprise to anyone. Both Charles Wang and Bruce Ratner have said the team would fulfill its’ lease with Nassau County.
Ratner built the Barclays Center, the Islanders future home, and has the development rights to the Nassau Coliseum once the team moves.
Also it would be hard to imagine the Islanders, Long Island’s only professional sports team, leaving without some sort of farewell to both Nassau Coliseum and the island. You have to imagine part, or more likely most, of next season will be dedicated to the 40 plus years of history the team has at Nassau Coliseum. Just up and leaving would have been the wrong thing to do.