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Nassau Coliseum to shutter indefinitely

With all the positive news regarding the New York Islanders, Belmont Arena and COVID-19 in general, you knew in the back of your head some bad news was coming. Unfortunately for Islanders fans, the saga for a new home continues.

Onexim Sports and Entertainment, a company run by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov and the company leasing Nassau Coliseum from Nassau County, is planning to shutter indefinitely and is seeking investors to take over both the debt owed to Nassau County and full operations.  The reasoning is due to the lack of profit made during the coronavirus pandemic.

In total, Onexim has around $100M in loans.  It is unknown what the plan is going forward, but it has been speculated that other potential investors will use the land around Nassau Coliseum to build it up, similar to the Lighthouse Project proposed by former Islanders owner Charles Wang.

The question now is: Where do the Islanders play their 2020-21 season?  While the rest of the 2019-20 season will be played in two hub cities, it is now a mystery where the Islanders will play next season.  There is still plenty of time to figure it out, but it adds another wrinkle to what seemed to be a closed book with the construction of Belmont.

Would the Islanders be able to play at the Coliseum regardless of ownership?  Will they be able to go back to Barclays Center despite breaking their deal?  Will the friendly neighborhood Rangers loan them Madison Square Garden for a season?  Who knows, but the possibilities are endless.


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