Minority Democrats in the Nassau County Legislature want County Executive Edward Mangano to appear at Monday’s legislative meeting to update lawmakers on his efforts to bring the New York Islanders back to the Nassau Coliseum.
A resolution filed Tuesday by the seven-member Democratic minority also asks Mangano to explain why he has declined to enforce a clause in the county’s 2013 lease with Brooklyn developer Bruce Ratner to renovate the Coliseum that requires an American Hockey League team play 40-plus games at the Uniondale arena.
Newsday reported Monday that Mangano had shelved plans to bring a minor league hockey team to the Coliseum as he pursues a reunion with the Islanders team, which plays at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“I am always happy to discuss the new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and everyone knows I have never stopped pursuing the Islanders’ return,” Mangano said in a statement. “Clearly, making any commitments to minor league hockey prior to the Islanders decision is not in the best interests of returning the team to their home in Nassau.”
The Democrats’ resolution requests that Mangano detail any steps “to enforce the relevant [AHL] lease provisions and collect damages for any breach of such provisions.”
The Coliseum lease does not provide for any compensation to the county if the developer fails to bring an AHL team to the arena.
Majority Republicans control which bills or resolutions are called for a vote. A spokesman for Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Democrats’ resolution.
Democrats Tuesday also filed a local law that would authorize Mangano to “take all necessary steps to negotiate and enter into a lease or appropriate agreement” with the Islanders to play at the Coliseum for at least 15 years.
Mangano met with Islanders co-owner Jonathan Ledecky in November to discuss the team’s return to the Coliseum, which will reopen April 5 after a $130 million renovation.
While sources say Barclays officials are encouraging the Islanders to move back to the Coliseum and opt out of their 25-year license agreement to play in Brooklyn, there is no indication the team is planning a return to the Coliseum.
The Islanders reportedly are looking at building a stadium at state-run Belmont Park in Elmont, or next to Citi Field in Queens if they do not remain in Brooklyn, sources said.
Bloomberg reported last week that Barclays officials are preparing for the Islanders’ departure and do not expect to generate any revenue from the team after the 2018-19 season. The Islanders and Barclays could opt out of their deal as early as January.
Spokesmen for the Islanders and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment — the entity formed to redevelop the Coliseum — did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.