Wang exploring Queens arena for Islanders

(AP) - Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon hastalked to New York Islanders owner Charles Wang about building anarena for the NHL team near Citi Field.

"We've had discussions with the Islanders - in addition tothose we've had with Major League Soccer - about building asports/entertainment facility near Citi Field," the Mets said in astatement Wednesday.

Wilpon told Newsday for its Wednesday editions that he spoke toWang about trying to develop something "synergistic with CitiField and a hockey arena."

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he had yet to speak withthe Mets' owners, but was open to the possibility.

"I don't know whether it's the owner or the team using us as anegotiating ploy out on Long Island," the mayor said at a newsconference Wednesday. "I'd love to have more teams move here.That'd be great."

Wilpon said it's also possible he could buy the Islanders,according to Newsday.

A spokeswoman for Wang did not immediately return a request forcomment.

The Islanders have been trying to get local government toapprove a development plan that would give the team a new arena toreplace Nassau Coliseum. Wang has become frustrated by lack ofaction on his proposal and said last fall that he would explore alloptions - including relocation.

The team played a preseason game last year in Kansas City, whichis seeking an NHL team for a new arena that was built there.

"What I want to do is keep the team here," Wang said inOctober. "Long Island needs the Islanders. It's crazy what's goingon, the gamesmanship. Now you've really got to decide, yes or no.If it's no, it's OK. Say it then.

"It's not what I want, but it isn't like people are giving megreat choices."

The Mets moved into Citi Field last year after spending 45seasons at Shea Stadium. The ballpark is located in the New YorkCity borough of Queens, about 20 miles (a 30-minute drive) fromwhere the Islanders play home games on Long Island, outside thecity.

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