Long Island Voters Reject $400M Arena Plan, Islanders Future In Question

Monday night, the voters of Long Island took to the polls to voice their opinion on whether or not New York Islanders owner Charles Wang, in partnership with the county, will have access to a $400M loan to build a new, state-of-the-art hockey arena on the current site of the dilapidated Nassau Coliseum.

Their final answer? A resounding "no."

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.

Nassau County officials who backed the effort say the August vote was needed to give officials enough time to build a replacement for the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum before the New York Islanders' lease expires in 2015.

Now what? Well, the most obvious answer is that the Islanders could end up moving to a new city. However, it's unclear how far along Wang might be in that thought-process.

Nassau County officials supported the effort, noting that if the Isles left the region would lose millions in tax revenue and thousands of jobs. However, when faced with the idea of footing the bill for a new area, it still wasn't enough for residents.

In a statement after the vote, Wang said it was an emotional event and that he is "heartbroken" over the results. As to whether or not that heartbreak will be the impetus to turn his team into the Seattle Islanders (or whatever the case may be), remains to be seen.

For more on the vote results and the team, visit SB Nation's Lighthouse Hockey.

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