With roughly 72 percent of the precincts reporting, the voters of Nassau County have defeated a referendum to build a new Nassau Coliseum by roughly 58 percent to 42 percent.
Isles owner Charles Wang told fans at the Coliseum he was more than disappointed, he was “heartbroken.”
The future of the franchise in Nassau County is now up in the air. Wang had previously indicated that he would “explore all options” if the new new building was voted down.
Wang has indicated the team will not play at the Nassau Coliseum after the present lease expires after the 2014-2015 season. The team could be leaving Long Island unless a suitable plan to build an arena emerges shortly.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano thanked supporters of the referendum and said that they would somehow find a way to rebuild a new Coliseum.
Isles GM Garth Snow addressed the crowd and tried to keep the focus on hockey. “Training camp is just around the corner,” Snow said. “We need to prepare ourselves to get into the playoffs and give our fans something to cheer about.”
No team that has ever won the Stanley Cup has moved. The Islanders won four straight Stanley Cups from 1980 until 1983.