Yesterday, the Nassau County voters that did show up to cast ballots on whether to give $400 million of tax-payer money to build a new hockey arena (which would also have a minor league ballpark and convention space) for the Islanders. The vote was 57% to 43% against the plan, which would have replaced the aging Nassau Coliseum, and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said, "The people of Nassau County have spoken and I can take joy in knowing that we celebrated democracy today." However, Islanders owner, billionaire Charles Wang, said, "I'm heartbroken."
Voters apparently objected to the property tax hike that would have been required if the plan went through. The Post reports, "Mangano said that the new arena would have cost individual taxpayers $14 dollars annually over the next 30 years, while a state fiscal watchdog group, the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, put that figure at $60 dollars." One 19-year-old Islanders fan who was in favor of the project said, "People are going to regret this. People spend 50 bucks on going to Starbucks a few times. We're losing our team."
Wang, who founded Computer Associates, has previously threatened to move the Islanders away because the Coliseum is terrible, but he did say, "We're committed to the Nassau Coliseum until 2015. We will honor our lease." Still, in 2015, it could be the...Brooklyn Islanders?