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Newsday (New York)
The operators of Brooklyn's Barclays Center are preparing a pitch to bring the Islanders back to the recently renovated Nassau Coliseum, according to Kevin Law, the president and chief executive of Long Island Association, the region's largest business group.
Law said Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which runs both Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum, will offer to make further "adjustments" to the Coliseum - such as adding seats - to address the Islanders' potential concerns.
"Over the last two months, I have met with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, Islanders owners, I've met with the county and the state," Law said. "What I just learned very recently is that BSE will be offering a plan to the Islanders to move them back to the Coliseum."
Law, who has no direct role in the Islanders' fate, is an influential advocate and business leader who frequently consults with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Long Island-related matters. Law said the presentation will be made to Islanders owners Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin when they meet soon to talk about renegotiating the 25-year license agreement with Barclays Center.
Both the Islanders and Barclays Center can opt out of the deal, and sources say both sides have 30 days after the end of the Islanders' season - which was Sunday - to trigger the start of the negotiating window, which lasts until the end of the year. Neither side has officially notified the other yet, the sources said.
Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment and the Islanders declined to comment.
Previously, sources have said the owners of the Islanders and Mets and a sports arena development company backed by Madison Square Garden have had discussions about building a new hockey arena at Belmont Park.
Amy Varghese, a spokeswoman for Empire State Development, said that the state's primary business development agency is "working to finalize" a new request for proposals to develop Belmont Park.
Last year the agency scrapped proposals, including a 25,000-seat soccer stadium for the New York Cosmos, after a long-delayed, four-year process.
Law said on Wednesday that he opposes the idea of a new arena at Belmont because of what it means for the Coliseum, which opened last week following a $165-million renovation. Law also successfully advocated for an $85-million grant from the state for two parking garages that he said will free up land for medical research facilities.
"It makes no sense to build a new arena less than 10 miles away from the brand-new Nassau Coliseum," he said. He believes the two sites "should complement each other, not cannibalize each other."
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, who met with Ledecky in November to discuss the team's return to the Coliseum, declined to comment on Law's statements, but said his "administration continues to work diligently to clear a pathway for the New York Islanders to return home to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum."
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