Islanders, Sterling Equities in talks to build Queens arena: report

Hockey team moved to Brooklyn just last year

Barely a year after moving from Nassau County to Brooklyn, the New York Islanders are already considering a move to the next borough. The NHL franchise is in talks with Sterling Equities to build a new hockey arena next to the Citi Field baseball stadium in Willets Point, Queens.

The deal would only happen if the Islanders and the Barclay’s Center – their current home – fail to agree on certain improvements, Bloomberg reports. Fans have complained about obstructed views and players about poor ice quality during the team’s first season at the arena, which is owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. The Barclay’s Center is also small by NHL standards, seating 15,700.

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Sterling Equities [TRData], a real estate development firm headed by the Wilpon family, owns the baseball team New York Mets, which plays at Citi Field. The Islanders’ owners are Value Retail founder Scott Malkin and Jonathan Ledecky, who bought the team for $485 million last year and took control on July 1.

In December, Sterling Equities and partner Related Companies won City Council approval to build a mall in Willets Point. Earlier this year, Deadspin reported that a Sterling investment fund had lost $300 million, which the company denied. [Bloomberg]Konrad Putzier