Days after the New York Islanders' arena vote failed, the team's owner Charles Wang has started to begin searching for other options. One option could be to move the team to the next county to the west, Queens.
The Islanders would really benefit from being in that area. Queens has major transportation areas that could be very helpful in getting people their. Also, Wang could finally have things done his way. Getting a project similar to the proposed Lighthouse Project that was in Nassau would be a big boost.
The Queens Chamber of Commerce executive director, Jack Friedman, has said "I really believe this is the time for Queens County to open up their arms." Queens was interested when the Lighthouse Project fell through back in 2009.
It certainly seems like the Islanders have much support from other areas. With Wang wanting to keep the Isles on Long Island and Queens wanting the team, it seems like a no-brainer. But where would it be built you ask?
The Islanders would most likely build an arena near Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, in an area called Willets Point. The area could use redevelopment and this arena plan could help drastically. There are 61 acres of land available for development. It also has access to major transportation sites like the Long Island Railroad, LaGuardia Airport and the Grand Central Parkway. Fans from Nassau can still get to games easily. It also will increase media exposure being in New York City.
Wang's original Lighthouse Project could actually become a reality in Queens; of course it would need to be scaled down because the original plan was for 150 acres of land.
Wang has had enough with Nassau County. Also, many fans are tired of everything that has happened over the past few years. I know that the Islanders were born in Nassau and all their history is there, but let's be real, Nassau doesn't deserve the Islanders. They clearly don't want them to be here. Queens will have a lot of support. Many people don't realize that many fans come from Queens and the fanbase would be great.
This will probably not happen until the lease with Nassau County is up in 2015. It wouldn't surprise me though to see Wang have something set up when the time comes.
The Islanders need to stay on Long Island. Nassau is out of the question though. Queens is the answer for the Islanders' future success.