Just because the Islanders lease at Nassau Coliseum is up doesn’t mean the drama with their former lease partner Service Management Group Inc. (SMG) is over.
The Islanders filed a lawsuit against the arena management company, claiming that SMG “failed to fulfill the terms of an arena sublease and owes the club at least $1 million.” SMG countered on Thursday by arguing that the Islanders defaulted on more than $10 million payments that the team owed before the July 31 expiration date of their lease at Nassau Coliseum. (Newsday, Aug. 20)
The Islanders filed their suit in state Supreme Court on August 10 and attorneys for SMG requested on Thursday that the case be moved to U.S. District Court for the Eastern District.
The sublease in question is one that was agreed upon in the final days of former Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi time in office. It does require the Islanders to pay SMG a lump sum of $7 million at the end of the lease as part of a deferred rent-payment plan.
The Nassau Coliseum is about to go through a $261 million renovation by developer Bruce Ratner to downsize and modernize the outdated Long Island venue.
The Long Island Railroad will be adding extra service to and from Barclays Center during Islanders’ home games this upcoming season (Newsday, Aug. 3).
The LIRR will add two additional eastbound trains to Farmingdale and Babylon that will depart Atlantic Terminal 20 minutes after the end of weekday home games. Fans looking for other lines will transfer at Jamaica. In addition, two west bound trains will be added to the schedule on the weekend along with two extra eastbound trains after games.
“Throughout the Islanders relocation to Barclays Center, we have made it a priority to ensure that the team’s fans on Long Island follow the team to Brooklyn,” Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said in a statement, according to Newsday. “We are proud to partner with the LIRR to announce additional trains that will make that process easier and more convenient for our Long Island fans.”
Yormark hinted on Twitter last month that an announcement regarding train service for Islanders’ games would be forthcoming, and fans would be happy about it (IPB, July 23).
Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:
As Brian Erni speculated last month, Barclays Center and LIRR have added trains that will run directly from Atlantic Terminal to two major hubs on Long Island. This should make leaving the game a bit easier for fans who have to head back to Long Island.
The trip to Brooklyn isn’t the tough part, rather the journey back home can be a bit dicey at the later hours. Trying to make connections at Jamaica can be tough, so the addition of extra trains and two additional direct routes will hopefully mitigate some of the hassle.
Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:
For 43 year the Islanders have called Nassau Coliseum home. After the 2014-15 campaign ended, the team began their migration west to Brooklyn.
On Saturday, their departure became complete with the last signage of the team’s presence at Nassau Coliseum coming down. Former Islanders Point Blank lead writer Kevin Schultz tweeted out a picture of a barren Nassau Coliseum.
A “Home of the New York Islanders” banner used to occupy the upper exterior of Nassau Coliseum, along with advertising. The team’s lease with Nassau County ended on July 31.
The Islanders, arena management company SMG and Nassau County agreed on a $3.5 million settlement over back payments due to the county by the hockey club and SMG. The deal was agreed upon on the final day of SMG’s lease with the county.
Developer Bruce Ratner assumed management control of the outdated arena on Saturday and will make his first lease payment on Monday, according to Newsday.
The Colisuem’s final act will be a Billy Joel Concert on Tuesday in which ticket prices on the secondary market have skyrocketed.
The Islanders will have another new sponsor for their inaugural season in Brooklyn.
Draft Ops, a daily fantasy sports operator, has signed a three-year sponsorship deal with the Barclays Center. The agreement includes sponsorship of the Islanders, which includes “on-and-off ice assets” (Forbes, June 24).
The fantasy sports website will also build an on-site Fantasy Sports Book at Barclays Center. The Fantasy Sports Book will begin being built in September and Draft Ops will launch it in connection with the Islanders season opener in October.
The sponsorship deal does not include the Brooklyn Nets, who have a multi-year partnership in place with FanDuel.
Draft Ops is also in discussions with the Anaheim Ducks and New Jersey Devils for sponsorship deals.
Nassau County is considering filing a lawsuit against Nassau Coliseum operator SMG to collect nearly $6 million in unpaid rent, utilities, parking and concessions, as well as an additional $176,000 in back ticket taxes. (Newsday, May 19)
SMG owes the county money dating back to 2011, according to an audit conducted by comptroller George Maragos. He wants the county to file suit to collect the money.
“The county has every intention to collect the dollars owed and has been actively pursuing a resolution to make the county whole,” said County Attorney Carnell Foskey. (Newsday, May 19)
The Pennsylvania-based venue management company said they are working to settle the “unpaid bills,” but SMG insists they do not owe additional ticket tax revenue.
The report comes as the Town of Hempstead held a hearing on Monday regarding the master plan for the renovation of the Nassau Coliseum. The hearing lasted two hours and the town board unanimously agreed to vote on the plan at a future date. (Newsday, May 20)
The vote could happen at “next week’s meeting, it could be at the meeting in June, it could be at any future meeting,” said town spokeswoman Susie Pokalsky.
Forest City Ratner, the development firm that built the Barclays Center, plans to turn Nassau Coliseum into 13,000 seat modern facility along with an entertainment district and retail space. Rather plans on beginning construction in August.
The master plans for the renovated Nassau Coliseum will be submitted to the town on Hempstead on Tuesday (Newsday, Apr 14).
Forest City Ratner, which is owned by Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner, is redeveloping the antiquated arena and the surrounding property. A town spokesman said that Nassau Events Center LLC — an affiliate created by Forest City to oversee the project — will submit a plan on Tuesday
Town supervisor Kate Murray said in a statement: “I look forward, along with my colleagues on the town board, to reviewing NEC’s plan.”(Newsday, Apr 14)
On Monday, Nassau County Legislators gave Ratner approval to receive $90 million in foreign financing for the project (Newsday, Apr 13).
The Coliseum project includes renovating, and downsizing, the coliseum to a 13,000 seat venue, restaurants and a movie theater. Construction is slated to begin once the Islanders relocate to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Construction begins on Isles’ locker room at Barclays Center