Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Islander Arena Referendum Soundly Rejected By Nassau County Voters

Nassau County voters have spoken loudly in response to the New York Islanders request for a publicly funded new Nassau Coliseum.  From AP:
The referendum failed in a 33,526 to 24,553 vote Monday in what elections officials said was a very low turnout for the unusual midsummer election.
The fact that there was low turnout should not surprise anyone in an irregularly cycled election.  Fact is that the Islanders were banking on a low turnout to be in their best interest which is why they had the vote on August 1 instead of election day.  The move backfired as the people who went out and voted were mainly elderly who don’t want to see their already astronomical taxes raised even more in order to publicly fund a sports arena.
The fact is that in this case the idea of bailing out the rich owner of the Islanders from paying to privately fund a new arena was what carried the day and had so many voting no.  The focus for the Islanders was geared toward hoping they could motivated enough hockey fans to show up and outnumber the regular citizenry that would be against the idea instead of convincing the general public of how it could be vital to the economy in Nassau County.
Regardless of the outcome of tonight’s vote the Islanders have a lease until 2015 so they are not going anywhere right now, but with the rejection of their new arena, the potential for them to eventual leave is very real.