Mets, Isles talk about arena near Citi
Jeff Wilpon, Wang discuss possible relocation of NHL team
Mets chief operating office Jeff Wilpon has had discussions with New York Islanders owner Charles Wang regarding the potential construction of a new arena for the NHL team near Citi Field, Newsday reported Wednesday.
Wilpon told Newsday that, although dealings have centered mostly around moving the hockey team from Long Island to Queens, he's also talked with Wang about buying the Islanders.
The Islanders have been in what they consider to be an untenable situation at their current arena, Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., throughout Wang's 10-year tenure as owner. He has lobbied on several occasions to renovate the arena or tear it down and build a new one on the same site, a proposal called the Lighthouse Project, but talks with Town of Hempstead officials have not resulted in a deal, and there has been speculation that he would consider moving the franchise.
While Wilpon's interest in moving or purchasing the Islanders appears genuine, Newsday said, he cautioned to the newspaper that a deal is not imminent.
"It wouldn't be fair to say we have made any verbal agreements or even a handshake agreement," Wilpon said, "but we're definitely in the exploratory phase with both of them."
Dan Mennella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.