Nassau County residents voiced their displeasure at the polls Monday, as the referendum that would allow for a new arena to be built for the New York Islanders in Uniondale was voted down.
The final numbers were not official when Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Islanders owner Charles Wang took the stage, but at 11:40 p.m. the duo threw in the proverbial towel with just 70 percent of the votes tallied.
"I have to tell you, I'm disappointed," Wang said. "To put it very bluntly, I'm heartbroken."
"I can tell you this, tonight is not the end of our journey, but merely the beginning," Mangano added. "In the coming weeks I will explore a path for new opportunities and growth in Nassau County."
According to the Nassau County Board of Elections, as of 1:30 a.m., with 99.83 percent of the votes counted, the margin was 88,389 against and 66,829 for – or 56.95 percent to 43.05 percent.
It is uncertain at this time whether Islanders owner Charles Wang will attempt to continue with the project and fund it himself.
Wang said it was "a very emotional time" for him and his staff, and would not discuss anything further about any possible next step for the property. He went on to say that the team is committed to Nassau County until 2015, when the current lease on the Coliseum expires.
"In the coming weeks, we will seek additional options for this property," Mangano added.
Also on the referendum was the construction of a minor league baseball stadium that would be built across the street from the current Coliseum at Mitchel Field. Back in July, County Executive Ed Mangano said that the ballpark would be looked at as a potential self-supporting, individual location.
This is a breaking news story. Stay with Patch for more updates as soon as they're made available.