By Eden Laikin
Nassau County residents are not the only ones monitoring today’s public referendum on the HUB redevelopment project.
People living in Quebec City are interested in the outcome as well.
Specifically, City officials there who are searching for a hockey franchise to play at their new arena beginning in the Fall of 2015 – the same time the New York Islanders would be freed up and on the look-at for a new home should the new arena not materialize.
Should today’s vote be defeated, and a new arena not built to replace the aged one, both Islanders owner Charles Wang and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman have said they’ll move the team when its lease is up in July 2015.
A Canadian journalist called Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s office today asking questions about the importance of the vote and the prospect of the Islanders leaving.
Mayor of Quebec City, Régis Labeaume, meanwhile monitors the vote of the taxpayers of Nassau County to borrow $ 400 million to build the new arena for the Islanders and a minor league ballpark.
The Quebec government and Quebec City plan to fund the construction of a new arena in the provincial capital. The $400-million project, which many Quebec City residents hope will attract an NHL franchise, will begin over the next two years. The Quebec capital has been without an NHL team since 1995, when the Nordiques left for Denver to become the Colorado Avalanche.