“New Ownership Structure” Announced for the New York Islanders
August 19, 2014: a day many Islanders fans will remember for a very long time to come.
Pending approval from the NHL Board of Governors, the New York Islanders announced breaking news regarding their “new ownership structure.” Current owner Charles Wang (who has held share in the New York Islanders since 2000) agreed to a deal selling a minority of the Islanders to former co-owner of the Washington Capitals, Jonathan Ledecky and investor Scott Malkin. The two will remain minority owners under Wang for two years, where they then will assume majority ownership of the franchise.
As per Arthur Staple of Newsday, financial details have not yet been released.
According to his Forbes profile, Jonathan Ledecky has served on numerous boards, including that of Forbes, and has held prestigious positions in all. He is a philanthropic individual who focuses on benefits for inner-city children in New York, Washington and Boston. Ledecky, a Harvard alumnus, has an extensive background in investing. He certainly seems like a highly-intelligent businessman – someone the Islanders franchise definitely could use.
Scott Malkin, chairman and CEO of Value Retail (a London-based association leasing high-end European retail outlets), comes from a very successful lineage. Malkin’s Forbes review states, “He is chairman of Malkin Holdings, which owns and manages 11 million square feet of office and retail space in the greater New York area (including the Empire State Building) and 3,000 apartment units.” He considers himself very entrepreneurial, which is a comforting characteristic for a new owner of the franchise to possess.
But just like any ownership change, a large, legitimate concern for fans lies in whether or not the team will remain as we know and love them. Will they be moved? Will they change their name, their logo, their colors or their mascot?
In the Islanders press release announcing the sale, Ledecky stated, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to become partners in the New York Islanders with Charles, and to pursue our shared dream of winning a fifth Stanley Cup for the greatest fans in the NHL.” This statement alone gave me lots of hope that Ledecky and Malkin plan on continuing the Islanders’ legacy as we’ve always known it, rather than a complete change. Also, the fact that Malkin’s company handles property in New York made me truly believe they’ll stay as-is.
It’s an exciting change for any Islanders fan, and makes us believe this team is finally being taken seriously by higher-ups. The Islanders’ press release for the sale announcement closed with this statement from Wang: “I’m thrilled that Jon and Scott have agreed to join me as we start the Islanders’ final year at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. I look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
Will the partnership be long and successful? Only time will tell. But for now, I can deal with this glimmer of hope that better times are ahead for the New York Islanders.
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