Yesterday, the Long Island Press, citing an unnamed source, reported that the ambitious Lighthouse project — which would include a renovated Nassau Coliseum as well as residential and office space, a hotel, and more — had been “abandoned internally by New York Islanders team owner Charles Wang.” And, the logic goes, the end of the Lighthouse project would have meant the end of the team on Long Island. But Islanders owner Charles Wang today said that the report was “bogus,” and that “there are no plans to abandon the project.” Celebratory fish sticks for everyone!
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the Islanders aren’t moving. It just means they’re still waiting on what Wang calls a “yes or no decision” from Hempstead town supervisor Kate Murray. (The Hempstead town board will need to vote on whether to approve the necessary rezoning.) Essentially, we’re back to where we’ve been for a while now: If that vote doesn’t go Wang’s way, then it’s likely off to Kansas City or Queens or a mini-rink in Brooklyn. As for the original report, Long Island Press editor Michael Martino stands by his story, telling Newsday he thinks today’s response “is a scramble to handle a possible PR nightmare.” Which would make sense, because if there’s anyone who knows how to handle a PR nightmare, it’s the owner of the New York Islanders.