Report says New York Islanders up for sale

Saturday February 16th, 2013

With a loan payment due next year, Islanders owner Charles Wang is looking to sell the team. With a large loan payment due next year, Islanders owner Charles Wang is reportedly trying to sell the team. (AP)

By Allan Muir

So apparently Charles Wang isn't exactly a Brooklyn kind of guy.

Just months after sealing a deal that would see the New York Islanders move to the posh new Barclays Center in the hipster borough, Wang is looking to sell the team according to a report by Josh Kosman in The New York Post.

From the story:

Owner Charles Wang has been in talks with The Raine Group, a Manhattan investment bank, regarding the sale of the money-losing team, two sources said.

Talks between Wang and Raine are said to be preliminary and the team owner hasn’t hired Raine -- so the effort could lose steam.

An Islanders spokesman said there is no truth to the story. Raine could not be reached for comment.

A lengthy, and ultimately failed, battle to build a new arena that would allow the team to remain on Long Island left Wang willing to discuss a sale in the past, but he never officially put the sign on the lawn.

The timing makes sense. Kosman notes that Wang has a $75 million loan payment due at the end of next season. That's a tough bill to foot with the team losing about $10 million a year and no real relief in sight until the team moves for the 2015-16 season. But with the new arena deal in place, there is a brighter financial outlook for the sad-sack Isles. Exploring a sale now allows Wang to capitalize on that warm glow and possibly stave off having to personally absorb the significant losses he's certain to face as the team plays out the string at the decrepit Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

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