New York Islanders fans who are happy that their team will play a dozen games at Nassau Coliseum next season — and more than 20 games each in the two seasons after that — have Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to thank, sources told The Point.
Those cued in on the talks, and not in government, confirmed that Cuomo’s involvement in negotiations between the Islanders and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which controls both the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the Coliseum, made the difference in getting to the deal announced at the Coliseum Monday morning.
But it wasn’t just Cuomo’s presence. Money talks, too. The state’s decision to pay the $6 million for the Coliseum infrastructure improvements the NHL says are necessary clearly helped. “For him to come on and do that helped solidify the outstanding questions,” a source with knowledge of the discussions told The Point.
“It was important to get them home early,” a Cuomo source said in explaining the state’s decision to fund the renovations. And, Long Island Association chief executive Kevin Law noted that the Islanders’ presence also could help jump-start the redevelopment of the Hub area around the Coliseum.
Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which will lose the team to Belmont as soon as 2021, will not contribute funds toward Coliseum improvements, a source confirmed.