02 August 2011
It was a tough day for Islanders fans and supporters of a new arena in the Nassau Hub last night as voters rejected the $400 million referendum to build a new Nassau Coliseum, minor league ballpark and indoor track.
Charles Wang and Ed Mangano addressed the media shortly before midnight as the results began to become clear. Over 50 percent of precincts had come in and the numbers were not in favor of the passage of the referendum.
As expected both Wang and Mangano were disappointed, but Mangano stayed positive that something will be done.
“Tonight is not an ending, it is a beginning,” Mangano said to the large group of reporters gathered at the Nassau Coliseum. “We will find a new path, a path that brings people together. A path that solves the problems and blockades to redeveloping this property.”
He touted yesterday’s vote as a day the people “weighed in” and vows to continue to find a solution to creating jobs, fixing the economy and keeping the Islanders in Nassau.
“We will continue to move ahead. In the coming weeks we will seek additional options for this property. We will find a way to create jobs and opportunities in our great county and bring people together.”
Wang briefly spoke as well, but did not make any suggestion as to what the next move is.
“I’m heartbroken that this was not passed,” Wang said. "We’re disappointed that the referendum pertaining to the arena was not voted by the people of Nassau County as being a move in the right direction for growth. I feel that the sound bites ruled the day and not the facts. Right now, it’s an emotional time and we’re not going to make any comments on any specific next steps.”
Wang did reiterate how the team was still committed to Nassau Coliseum until 2015 and that he would honor the lease.
With the new plan dead Wang and Mangano will go back to the drawing board and scramble to find a solution within the Nassau Hub area. Some people are suggesting that this is the end of the Islanders in Nassau County, but no one knows for sure at this point.
Right now, it seems Wang is looking ahead to the celebrity gossip hockey season and any arena plans will not be forthcoming anytime soon.