Nassau County is Excited About the $500k It Makes From Isles Playoff Games

Kevin Schultz

Yesterday, after it was confirmed the Islanders would come home for Game Six, the Nassau County Comptroller’s office let loose a press release announcing that the three Islanders home playoff games will bring in $4 million in economic activity to the area and $500,000 to the County itself.

“The buzz the Islanders have created by winning two games against the top seeded Pittsburgh Penguins is great for the sport but also great for our local economy,” Comptroller Maragos said. “Anytime the Coliseum can be filled to capacity, which is over 16,000 attendees for Islander games, the County receives a portion of the ticket tax, parking and concessions revenue.”

The comptroller, now apparently having jumped on the Islanders bandwagon, is in full support of the team. During the lockout, the comptroller had a little bit different tune.

From Long Beach Patch on January 7th:

The same week it was announced that the National Hockey League had reached a tentative deal that would end the league’s lockout, Nassau Comptroller George Maragos said the county “may be” better off without the NHL this season.

“If they do in fact settle, then the loss could be less than $500,000 because we would have the benefit of half of season,” Maragos told Patch Thursday before the lockout was settled. “If they actually cancel the season, we may be a little better off because the Islanders are not a big draw compared to other events.”

Maragos continued by saying that even if the entire season had been canceled, the county was looking at losses of $500,000 or less. The monetary losses are all in terms of ticket tax and Nassau’s share of parking and concessions.

Last time I checked $500,000 is $500,000 and not something that can be downplayed or played up based on the situation.

The County portrays it as either $500,000 loss that doesn’t sound so bad “because [there would be] the benefit of half a season” and non-Islander events are better for the Coliseum. Or, it gets played up in a release titled “Let’s Go Islanders!” touting a $500,000 gain that sounds great.

The County looked under its couch cushions and instead of the usual pocket change or political corruption, they found half a million. The playoff revenue is literally $500,000 of found money, which is great, no doubt about it. But it was only five months ago that Nassau was better off without a season.

More from the Patch article:

But the Islanders are more than the sum of their parts. Long Island Association Chief Economist Pearl M. Kamer told Patch that the lockout also impacted nearby businesses dependent on the Coliseum crowd.

And the Islanders are helping to bring in $4 million in economic activity, according to the County release, which the County overlooked when they weren’t playing. But now that they are, there it is in the title of a press release.

Best of all is the allusion as to where that $500,000 is going. The last paragraph of the press release randomly cites how much the County paid to dispose of its resident’s trash. It does not explicitly say that’s where the money is going but it’s hard not to think of it that way given the odd nature of the release.

Of the total debris of 460,861 cubic yards removed from the County’s central piles, 187,518 cubic yards were hauled and disposed at local Long Island dump sites at an average cost $47.77 per cubic yard, including disposal fees (tipping). The County also barged 273,343 cubic yards of debris upstate at an average rate of $82.08 per cubic yard including tipping. The combined weighted average rate paid to dispose of all debris was $68.12 per cubic yard.

Nassau residents, you’re in a good-news, bad-news situation here. I’ll give you the good news first.

The good news is there’s a $500,000 windfall from the Islanders playoff run.

The bad news is that it takes $31 million to move your garbage somewhere else, so you won’t have to look at it every day on your way to work.