Randi Marshall took to Twitter to give one last credible teaser of something that has been speculated for months involving the New York Islanders.
Finally, after months of speculation, it seems an RFP will finally come to fruition and the Islanders can begin the official process of bidding on a potential new home at Belmont Park.
Islanders owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin have been extremely silent throughout the season and beyond, but it seems that is about to change. Randi Marshall, a Newsday Editorial Board member, took to Twitter to announce that a credible source said that the state’s Franchise Oversight Board will be handed the documents on Friday and that the request could be made public as early as Monday.
— Randi Marshall (@randimarshall) July 27, 2017
Of course, the official word of an RFP is important in getting the ball rolling for a new arena for the franchise, but it also serves another key purpose: showing John Tavares that there are wheels in motion with the Islanders and giving him reason to stay with the team.
While a bid is only a start, getting word officially out is a milestone for an anxious fan base enduring the biggest offseason in decades. Especially hearing something — anything — from Ledecky and Malkin, who have been mostly silent in terms of public announcements while polling the hockey world for advice in their quest to turn around the Islanders.
Assuming the RFP for Belmont is granted and the Islanders do reach an agreement on a brand new, state of the art arena, there are some important factors to note.
To build Detroit’s new Little Ceaser’s Arena (let’s hope the Islanders new home has better fate when it comes to naming) it took a total of three years from the moment the shovel hit dirt. During that time, an agreement will have to be reached with likely the Barclays Center — yes, the Barclays Center, NOT the new Coliseum — on a temporary deal that will house the Islanders until the construction of the arena is complete.
Now, the Islanders and the Barclays Center have indeed been discussing a new deal since about mid-March. This will likely be contingent on what happens with the RFP, and whether it’s approved or not.
Make no mistake, the Barclays Center wants the Islanders to stay. It’s a matter of negotiating the current deal to make it work for both sides, since as it currently stands the Islanders haul in the majority of the revenue (about $53 million per season).
Unfortunately for the time being most of this is still smoke and mirrors. Come Monday (hopefully), we’ll all have a much better idea of the franchise’s future and better yet, some sort of announcement from the higher ups regarding the path of the team going forward.
Hang in there Isles fans, the race to Belmont is about to begin, and the suitors are marching towards the starting line with Ledecky and Malkin leading the pack.