Islanders, Long Island officials announce lease agreement to replace aging arena

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. - The New York Islanders are one step closer to getting a long-awaited new arena.

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and Islanders owner Charles Wang announced a lease agreement that would keep the NHL team on Long Island if voters approve the replacement of the aging Nassau Coliseum in an Aug. 1 vote. Construction costs for the arena are estimated at US$350 million.

The agreement announced Wednesday guarantees county taxpayers 11.5 per cent of dollars generated at the new arena from all events, not just hockey-related ones.

Wang has hinted that the Islanders could leave Long Island when the club's lease expires in 2015 if a new arena isn't built.

Mangano will host public hearings ahead of the upcoming vote on renovating the 39-year-old Coliseum.

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