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Long IslandNassau

Lighthouse lease gives Islanders OK to leave before 2015

The proposed Lighthouse lease - agreed upon last week between Charles Wang and Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi - maintains a two-year-old provision that allows the Islanders to leave before 2015.

The provision, originally part of Nassau County's 2007 designated developer agreement with Wang, allows the financier to break the lease with no penalty, if the county legislature rejects or doesn't vote on the new lease within 120 days of Suozzi submitting it for a vote.

However, Suozzi cannot formally submit the lease to the legislature for a vote until Hempstead Town finalizes the environmental impact statement.

The Islanders' current lease requires the team to play all home games at the Nassau Coliseum until 2015. The new lease, if approved, would require the team to play at the Coliseum until 2030. In addition, if the lease isn't approved in the 120 days, Wang can recoup up to $4.5 million that he's spent on the state-mandated environmental review process.

To leave, Wang also would have to negotiate a deal with SMG, Nassau Coliseum's management company. Under the current lease, SMG receives revenue from concessions, parking and a portion of ticket sales.

Sources say Lighthouse officials and SMG have been in conversations about developer efforts to take over SMG's current contract. Representatives for Wang, the Lighthouse and Pennsylvania-based SMG declined to comment.

With Jim Baumbach

and Randi Marshall

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