Islanders' ownership buys remainder of Charles Wang's stake
The Charles B. Wang era officially came to an end on Wednesday when the Islanders’ current majority ownership announced it had purchased the remaining 15% of the organization from the estate of the previous owner.
But co-owner Jon Ledecky said Wang’s legacy will endure with the Islanders’ new UBS Arena targeted to open in November.
"Charles Wang took us to Belmont Park and explained how he could imagine that this location could some day be the permanent home of the New York Islanders," Ledecky said.
The sale price was not immediately available.
Forbes recently valued the Islanders’ franchise at $520 million, a flat valuation from 2019. Forbes also reported the Islanders had an NHL-high $39 million loss in 2019-20, primarily the result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
New York Hockey Holdings, consisting of owners Scott Malkin, Ledecky and fellow co-owner Dewey Shay, assumed 85% percent ownership of the Islanders on June 22, 2016, with Wang retaining a 15% stake.
The deal, valued at $485 million, had been agreed to in September 2014 with the stipulation that Malkin and Ledecky’s group spend two seasons as minority owners before taking control.
Wang passed away on Oct. 21, 2019.
"Charles B. Wang was a remarkable man who achieved much and is greatly missed," New York Hockey Holdings said in a press release announcing the deal. "He loved Long Island and stepped in to keep the Islanders where they belong. Charles believed in this franchise and always wanted what was best for the team’s passionate fan base."
Wang bought the team with Sanjay Kumar in 2000 for $171.2 million, according to financial records he allowed a Newsday reporter to view in 2009.
The sale price included an outlay of $74.2 million, while also assuming $97 million in existing liabilities.
Wang took over full ownership in 2004 when Kumar faced legal issues unrelated to the Islanders and sold his stake in the team to Wang.
Wang initially believed Nassau County would subsidize the redevelopment of the aging Nassau Coliseum, then worked to bring the $3.7 billion Lighthouse Project to life.
But, with no new or modernized arena forthcoming in Nassau County, the Islanders eventually moved to Barclays Center for the 2015-16 season. The Brooklyn arena proved inadequate for hockey and the Islanders wound up back at the Coliseum. But Wang finally helped make the new home at Belmont a reality.
Brassard to Arizona: The Coyotes officially announced forward Derick Brassard has agreed to a one-year deal worth a reported $1.2 million. Brassard, 33, spent last season with the Islanders, also on a one-year, $1.2 million deal, and had 10 goals and 22 assists in 66 regular-season games and added two goals and six assists in 18 postseason games.