Among the Long Island politicians and business leaders on this year’s City & State Long Island Power 100 list was a familiar name to New York Islanders fans.
Team co-owner Jon Ledecky was 53rd on the annual list of Long Island’s most powerful and influential people. It was the second consecutive year that Ledecky was on the list put out by City & State, which covers state and local politics in New York.
“Jon Ledecky, the co-owner of the New York Islanders, has seen major progress in the construction of the new UBS Arena at Belmont Park, where the Islanders expect to play for the 2021-2022 NHL season,” City & State wrote about the Islanders owner. “The home opener next year will signal a new beginning for the home team following a contentious exodus to Brooklyn after being ousted from Nassau Coliseum.”
Ledecky was ranked 49th in 2019 after he, along with Scott Malkin, returned the Islanders to Nassau County and they were selected by New York State to develop an arena and retail district at Belmont Park.
As the co-owner of Long Island’s lone major professional sports franchise, it isn’t too much of a surprise to see Ledecky’s name on the City & State list. While the Islanders can be overlooked in the market, they still have a significant impact on the Long Island economy, and the development at Belmont Park goes beyond just hockey and the Islanders.
There are a few names that Islanders fans may also remember from the team’s attempts to renovate the Nassau Coliseum.
RXR Realty CEO Scott Rechler ranked 16th. Rechler had partnered with former Islanders owner Charles Wang on his proposed Lighthouse Project, which was eventually killed by the Town of Hempstead in 2010. Rechler and RXR are currently working on a redevelopment plan for the 72 acres that surround the current Nassau Coliseum.
Congressman Tom Suozzi, who was then the county executive of Nassau Coliseum during the Lighthouse Project, was listed at 11 and current county executive and supporter of the Islanders project at Belmont Park, Laura Curren was ranked second by City & State.
Sticking with the Lighthouse/referendum era, New York State Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs was fourth on the Power 100. Jacobs was one of the lead opponents to the Islanders 2011 arena referendum and he famously suggested during an interview on WFAN that the Islanders sell personal seat licenses to fund a new building.
Vocal Belmont support and New York State senator Todd Kaminsky was listed seventh by City & State.