Skip to main content

Report: New York Islanders owner Charles Wang regrets buying team

MELVILLE, N.Y. - New York Islanders owner Charles Wang says he regrets buying the money-losing NHL team nine years ago.

"If I had the chance I wouldn't do it again," Wang told Newsday.

Citing the team's annual audited financial reports, Newsday reported Saturday on its Web site that Wang has spent US$208.8 million - an average of $23 million per year - to keep the team operating. He also spent $74.2 million when he and Sanjay Kumar bought the club and assumed $97 million in liabilities.

"His numbers are real," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Newsday. "Yes, we're aware the Islanders lose money, a significant amount of money. And it goes back to the team's need for a new arena."

Wang said he initially assumed Nassau Coliseum would either be refurbished or replaced within a few years, but his proposed $3.7 billion Lighthouse Project has been held up and is still under review by the Town of Hempstead.

"Never in my life, would I have anticipated this thing could be dragged out for seven, eight years," said Wang, the founder of Computer Associates.

An NHL-worst 26-47-9 this season, the Islanders will play a pre-season game in September in Kansas City, Mo., prompting speculation about a move. Officials in Willets Point in Queens also have expressed interest in the team.

"I'm not saying I'll move," Wang said. "I'm saying I'll explore all my options."

Wang and Kumar, the former Computer Associates chief executive, bought the Islanders in 2000 for about $190 million. Wang bought out Kumar - serving a 12-year prison term for a $400 million accounting fraud scandal - in 2004.

TOP HEADLINES

Connor McDavid
Play

NHL Three Stars: McDavid, Kaprizov and Kochetkov Show Off

Adam Proteau explains why Connor McDavid, Kirill Kaprizov and Pyotr Kochetkov had the best performances of the week.

Matt Murray
Play

It Looks Like the Maple Leafs Made the Right Bet in Goal – For Now

Evaluating goaltenders is a tricky task. They're very unpredictable. But Mike Stephens breaks down the stats between Toronto's tandem this year and the last.

Luke Schenn
Play

'It's an Honor': Canucks' Luke Schenn Sets NHL D-Man Hits Record

Luke Schenn set the NHL hits record among defensemen, first tracked in 2005-06, with a check on his former teammate as the Vancouver Canucks rallied to beat the Arizona Coyotes.