Alright, so maybe this isn't the best place for it, but there aren't fanposts on the KC SBNation site so I figured why not do it here?
So here we go again. Kansas City has once again been implicated as a potential relocation market for the New York Islanders.
What you need to know after the jump...
-Charles Wang (Computer education gazillionaire) purchased a minority share of the New York Islanders in 2000. He became majority owner of the team in 2004.
-He is the man leading the charge on the Lighthouse Project, a multi-billion dollar revitalization effort in the 150 acre area surrounding 38 year old Nassau Coliseum. The plan includes townhouses, shopping districts, outdoor amphitheater, a 5-star hotel and complete renovation and modernization of the Nassau Coliseum.
-Since his purchase of the team, Wang has lost over $100 million dollars.
-This past week, the Town of Hempstead pretty much put the nail in the coffin in the Lighthouse Project and proposed a new plan for less than half of Wang's proposed budget.
-Wang wasn't happy.
-The Islanders drafted teenage phenom, John Tavares with the first overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
-Wang stated in September that if legislation wasn't in place regarding the Lighthouse Project that he would begin searching for a new venue for the Islanders.
-He's reportedly talked with local government about possible new arenas in Queens, next to Citi Field and Brooklyn. He's also been in talks with the New Jersey Nets about possibly sharing their brand new Barclays Center.
-An article published on ArenaDigest.com implicated Kansas City's Sprint Center as a relocation option that the Islanders are exploring.
So that's that.
Kansas City has been here. It happened when the Sprint Center was being built. Mario Lemieux came here seeking a new home for his Pittsburgh Penguins, who were having difficulty with the Pittsburgh government in getting a casino slots license that would fund a new arena in downtown Pittsburgh.
Eventually, KC realized that they were being used as pawns and Lemieux got his new building in the Steel City.
So will it happen again?
Probably. The Islanders will not move out of New York. NHL Commish Gary Bettman was born on Long Island and is an Islanders fan. The NHL has stated that they don't want to relocate any NHL franchises or expand in the current economy. (Which is great, you know because the Coyotes and Thrashers are just ROLLING in dough...)
But what it comes down to is what Charles Wang wants to do with the team. He's stated that buying the team is his biggest regret in life. He's been battling with the politicians on Long Island for almost a decade and they aren't budging.
If he moves the Islanders to the Nets' arena, he'll have to pay them rent and royalties and luxury taxes and maintenance costs and so on.
If he moves them to Queens, he'll have to start the process all over again. Deal with more politicians, more accountants, lawyers, look for funding, look for support, etc.
If he moves to KC, he's got the building. He's got AEG. He's got free rent. He's got profit sharing with the world's 3rd busiest concert arena, he's got sold out corporate suites, he's got a built in passionate sports market with starved hockey fans.
It would take a miracle for this to happen, yes. But Kansas City makes good business sense for not only Charles Wang, but also for the NHL.