Elected officials who've had a hand in prior planning attempts for a new arena at the Nassau Coliseum expressed disappointment over the NHL team's announcement to leave the county for Brooklyn's Barclays Center in 2015.
"I am disappointed to learn of the Islanders’ plan to relocate to Brooklyn," Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray said. "They’ve been a valued part of this region’s identity, and we wish the team great success in the future. We hope Long Islanders will continue to cheer for the team.
"Hempstead Town, along with Nassau County, has long been focused on progressive development at Nassau’s HUB, including a new home for the Islanders. We worked hard to make that goal a reality. Though we regret the Islanders’ decision to relocate, we remain committed to development at the Nassau Veterans Coliseum site that makes sense for our region and our residents."
Nassau County Democratic Leader Kevan Abrahams was also saddened by the relocation news.
"This is a sad day for Nassau County and unfortunately another crippling hit to our local economy," he said. "To lose the Islanders, Nassau's only professional sports franchise, is an epic failure of leadership at all levels. We must immediately start working on new ideas for the Hub so that the Coliseum does not sit as a crumbling eyesore for generations."
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano called the Hub project the "most promising job creating opportunities in the nation," and has even solicitied private proposals for the Coliseum site after the referendum was voted down by residents.
"It is my intention to ensure that the taxpayers of Nassau County benefit from the economic redevelopment of 77 acres of land that sit within the most dynamic county in the nation," he added.
Mangano will also announce the selection of an economic development team who will serve as a catalyst in redeveloping the Hub into a "vibrant destination and job creation center."
"I believe the depth and experience of our team will allow us to reinvent this strategic acreage quickly," Mangano said, "allowing the economic benefits from Mitchel Field and the Hub to improve the quality of life of every Nassau County resident.”