CA Execs Buy NHL's New York Islanders - InformationWeek

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CA Execs Buy NHL's New York Islanders

Computer Associates chairman and CEO Charles Wang and president and chief operating officer Sanjay Kumar were introduced today as the new co-owners of the National Hockey League's New York Islanders.

The CA executives declined to say how much they paid for the struggling franchise, but published reports have put the price tag at about $190 million. The Islanders, who won four consecutive NHL titles in the early 1980s, finished 26th in the 28-team league this season and were last in the NHL in attendance. They haven't made the 16-team playoffs since 1994 and have had four ownership groups operating the franchise in the past decade.

"It wasn't the biggest deal we've ever made, but it took the longest," said Kumar, who added both he and Wang "will keep our day jobs" running CA.

Wang and Kumar said the sale has been approved by Nassau County, which operates the Nassau Coliseum, where the Islanders play, and by SMG, the management company that operates the 28-year-old Coliseum. Neither man would discuss plans for a new arena to replace the outmoded Coliseum. The sale must still be approved by the NHL, a process that should be completed in six to eight weeks.

Owning the Islanders will help CA "in terms of recruiting people and the quality of life on Long Island," Wang said. "No major metropolitan area has enjoyed expansion without professional sports. Long Island is our headquarters. How do you attract people if you have no museums? We think this is just as important."

As to what kind of owners they'll be, Wang said he and Kumar "aren't hockey people. Our job as businesspeople is to solve problems. That's where we can add value. We're going to make this a winning, successful franchise."

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