County Executive Edward Mangano backed the referendum as a way of keeping the hockey team from leaving, along with spurring economic development and job growth. In a statement, Mangano said an economic team will be formed to redevelop the area around the old arena. He didn't specifically comment on the Islanders.
"I am disappointed to learn of the Islanders' plan to relocate to Brooklyn," Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray said. "They've been a valued part of this region's identity, and we wish the team great success in the future. We hope Long Islanders will continue to cheer for the team."
Long Island fans seemed resigned to the move for a team that won the Stanley Cup every year from 1980 through 1983 but missed the playoffs last season.
Michael Callahan of Huntington said it was a sad day for Nassau County, but "I will probably go to Brooklyn for a game. It is easily accessible by mass transit; that is a big plus. That is also one of the shortfalls of the Coliseum; there is no close train system. That is a big plus; Brooklyn is easy to get to."
Associated Press Writers Jennifer Peltz and Frank Eltman contributed to this report.
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