A Sale Of The New York Islanders


Via CBS Sports

Real estate power lunches make for provocative stories.

One day we saw a house on our block was up for sale. And it was available for a while.

A few weeks later it was under contract. And it was under contract for a while.

So when the house we back to being for sale we were surprised a sale fell through. We live on a nice block in an attractive part of the city, and this would have been the fourth house to be snatched up in the last two years. As much as we were surprised we figured there’d be new interest soon.

Shockingly familiar story, wouldn’t you agree?

Millions of dollars lost (Sports Accounting) over nearly 15 years will make you want to sell. The inability to renovate or revitalize (due to brutal political games from all sides) will make you desperate to sell. Relocating your “favorite” asset that you “love” will make you schedule power lunches around a sale.

Charles Wang only went public with his possibly wanting to think about almost wanting to contemplate sorta kinda assume he’d sell the Islanders. It is part showmanship, part frustration over not being able to rule The Island of Long through politics and real estate. Good for him, everyone needs a dream.

There’s the $75 million tax hit Wang will incur this summer. I don’t like being on the hook for five bucks, can’t imagine a few million is any happier.

At first there was just speculation, mainly around the move 28.2 miles west. Would they detour to Quebec City? SPOILER: They’re ONLY moving to Brooklyn. (The Panthers are moving to QC, PQ.) Second, would the NHL take over? The Commish is on record as being an Isles fan from back in The Day. He’ll get a sale done. Look at the Pho…Arizona Coyotes. Gary Bettman says there’s a steadily interest in buying the New York Islanders. Enter the “Buyer”.

Andrew Barroway, lawyer turned trust fund manager, facilitated the sale of the New Jersey Devils to the owners of the Philadelphia 76ers. No idea if this makes him pure evil or Purest of Evil, but the man got it done. Barroway was also the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against Charles Wang’s Computer Associates for violating sections of the Securities & Exchange Act. Here is where he earns some points back. He’s connected to money, he represents money, and he represents people who can buy and sell Wang.

And then they got lunch.

Reported last week, Wang and Barroway met to discuss a price point. Nothing more, nothing less, with a side of cheddar jalapeno polenta. Barroway has been the point man for this iteration of paperwork, so it makes some sense for him to casually discuss appraisal terms and figures. I hope they had the medoc.

BREAKING NEWS: Weird news about any impending sale has awful caveats and eats souls. Any new buyers group is looking to operate “at or below” current levels. That would mean cap-floor compliance, no “peripheral departments outside the GM”, team cupcakes and tattoos, players buying their own apparel. I call bullshit.

Doesn’t this sound like the house on the market, under contract, odd future, and now awaiting an owner?

As Bertt Yormark has publicly stated the Isles will be guaranteed $15M in revenue just for becoming a tenant of Barclays Center. So an investment group with $400 million to buy a team will run on fumes and skeleton parts, all the while getting $15 million from the building footing the bill for marketing and business operations? Bull. Shit.

That’s not to say the new owners won’t spend low on the cap because they know how to manage salaries. Terry Pegula bought low and spent high on the cap. The Sabres suck. Darryl Katz spends some pennies on children, keeps cap hits low and the future cap steady. Oilers suck. Florida Panthers…Luongo aside, they were sold to owners who will spend as they see fit. The dad is running the show, the son was fired, the Panthers (will) suck. The new Devils owner listens to Lou Lamoriello, he signs Ryane Clowe and Michael Ryder. Devils play golf.

Not to scare anyone, but the most recent new NHL owners have an awkward track record. The bias response is “Brooklyn will fix that”. Moving to the borough should bring in the young dollars and the young talent. Unlike Quebec, pro sports in New York show New York State income tax structure is relatively friendly to millionaire athletes. Ask the Rangers and Yankees. Jaromir Jagr was fine with the NYS policy on gambling earnings. Just sayin’.

Back on point. The sale is moving along. Real estate lunches are a good sign. Less said publicly means more said behind closed doors. Charles will order the salmon. The point man for the next owners will order the duck. Things will progress.

Oh, the house on my block. It sold. For more than they expected. Sleep tight.

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