Nassau, Suffolk lawmakers make joint push to bring back Islanders

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UNIONDALE -

Two counties with one wish: Trying to bring the Islanders back to Long Island.

Legislators from both Nassau and Suffolk counties, on both sides of the political aisle, held a news conference outside the Nassau Coliseum Friday. They recently sent letters to the owners of the Islanders requesting they return to the Coliseum.

"The Islanders belong back here on Long Island," said Legislator Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst). 

There are blockades however, including NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman saying the new Coliseum isn't up to NHL standards in terms of seating capacity. The renovated facility can hold 13,000. 

Also at the news conference, Kevin Law – with the Long Island Association – made a promise. 

"I know if the Islanders commit to a substantial number of games here at the Coliseum, anything that needs to be done to bring this facility into NHL compliance, will be done," he says. 

That would include adding more seats and luxury boxes. News 12 asked Law exactly how many games, and how much money it would cost to once again renovate the Coliseum. 

"There's about 40 home games, so a substantial part of 40," he says. 

"The engineers would have to figure that out," Law continued. "You're talking about people with significant wealth who are involved in all the different options out there. I think there's enough money out there that, whatever it cost, would not trigger any public taxpayer dollar requirements." 

The Islanders departed the Nassau Coliseum for Barclays Center in Brooklyn after the 2014-15 NHL season. News 12 has reported that the Islanders and the Barclays Center have until Jan. 1 to renegotiate their lease. If a deal isn't reached, either side could opt out.

An Islanders spokesman told News 12 "no comment" when asked about a Long Island return. 

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