Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Voted Off the Island

Well, Islander fans (if there is such a thing), I have some bad news.

Your team has been voted off the island. Long Island.

Kinda, anyway.

On Monday, the referendum to increase taxes so that the NHL team could build a new $400 million arena was thoroughly and soundly rejected.

Owner Charles Wang, using the age-old tactic of emotional blackmail, has been hinting to move the team if a new facility isn't built.

Despite promises of new jobs, increased tourism, and all-around economic growth, the residents of Nassau County weren't ready to drink the Kool-Aid. And no wonder, considering they already pay close to $12,000 in property taxes annually.

So what does this mean for New York's "other" NHL team?

Commissioner Gary Bettman has said he will try his best to keep the team on Long Island after their lease expires in 2015. Wang, however, has kept relatively mum on the subject, other than to confirm the Islanders would remain until that time.

While I feel for fans of the team who no doubt want the issue resolved in a positive manner, I have to applaud the community members for not being bullied by a welfare tycoon (thanks to John Stossel for teaching me that term back in the day). And if Wang and the powers-that-be want to keep the Islanders actually on an Island, they'll find a way to raise the money and do it.

But for now, the tribe has spoken. Extinguish your torch. You may leave the Island.


So, hockey fans....what do you think? Is it inevitable that the Islanders are destined for a new mainland location? Do you agree with multi-millionaire owners relying on tax payers to fund new stadiums and arenas? Let me know!

Image provided by toomanymenonthesite.


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