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Is Kansas City a Plan B if NY Islanders' Lighthouse Project falls through?

Jul 14, 2010, 11:20 AM EST

wangislanders.jpgWhen Kate Murray, the supervisor of Hempstead Town, unveiled a plan that would greatly reduce the scale of the Lighthouse Project, it was seen as a big blow to New York Islanders owner Charles Wang’s plan to make the team more profitable.

As we discussed on Monday, the team is looking at some backup plans, but one city that is floating back into the discussion is Kansas City. KCTV5 in Kansas City has the latest buzz.

According to WNBC in New York, if the New York Islanders proposed arena deal falls through in Hempstead Town, N.Y., Kansas City could be a potential destination for the NHL team to move.

The supervisor of Hempstead Town, Kate Murray, unveiled a proposed zone for the county-owned land surrounding Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. The new zoning plan would halve the size of the Lighthouse Project, the name of the proposed arena and development, and could potentially make it more difficult to for a developer to make a profit.

If the Lighthouse Project were to fall through, WNBC says its sources say Kansas City and Queens could be locations where the team could play. The Islanders played the Los Angeles Kings in an exhibition game in fall of 2009, a move some believed was for Islanders ownership to explore the Sprint Center as a potential new home.

A development group has already started to make plans for an arena for the Islanders at Willets Point in Queens, the area that surrounds Citi Field where the New York Mets play.

lemieuxchampagne.jpgWhen the Pittsburgh Penguins were still in crisis mode a little more than three years ago (hard to believe it hasn’t been longer, right?), they flirted intensely with a move to Kansas City. As you may or may not remember, the Spirit Center is dying for a new tenant – whether that be an NHL or NBA team. In fact, they’re so desperate for a regular draw that they offered the Penguins free rent and other goodies.

Of course, it eventually came out that the Penguins were just using Kansas City (and Las Vegas) to pressure the city of Pittsburgh to pony up for a new arena. (Owner Mario Lemieux joked that they just went, had a nice dinner and came back.)

To further strengthen suspicions that Kansas City might be getting played, Chris Botta of New York Islanders Point Blank flatly denies the rumors of the Isles moving to Kansas City. Botta says that if the team will move, it will be somewhere in the New York metropolitan area.

At this point, there’s a lot of rumors and conjecture. It’s unclear what will happen next, but any team that is in danger of relocation has to at least consider Kansas City, right? With a cushy arena deal like that, it’s hard to believe that they won’t be a player at some point. Even if it appears that right now, they might just be getting played. We’ll keep you up to date as more information trickles in on this dramatic situation.

  1. J.J. from Kansas - Jul 14, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    I was at that Islanders/Kings exhibition game and the crowd was paltry. Kansas City fans are weary after falling for Lemieux’s ruse.
    The Sprint Center is probably better off going for an NBA franchise. I don’t think Kansas City will support a bottom-dwelling squad in the long run. There are plenty of better options.

  2. jj - Jul 14, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    THERE GOING TO “KANSAS CITY, KANSAS CITY HERE I COME”
    THE DREAM OF ALL RANGERS FANS!!

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