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“He got offers to move the team out of state _ good offers _ but Charles wouldn’t do that,” Ratner said. “Charles is the real hero here today.”

Wang wanted to keep the team in New York despite failing to get the Lighthouse Project built on Long Island. That grandiose plan would have included a new arena for the Islanders, but it never got the necessary approval for construction.

Both Wang and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman stated in the past that the Islanders wouldn’t play in Nassau Coliseum one day longer than they had to. Wang said he had serious options to move the team far away, but stuck to his desire to stay.

“We came to the right conclusion,” Wang said. “We had many offers that we looked at, but our first priority was we wanted to stay in Nassau County and then in New York.”

The Islanders hope this move will help them on and off the ice. The team hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2007 and hasn’t won a postseason series since 1993.

Wang started Wednesday’s festivities in the lobby of the new arena with a bold proclamation of “Hello Brooklyn!”

He will have to wait a few years to finally see his team hit the ice in the intimate building that is expected to hold between 14,500 and 15,000 for hockey. Wang said he has no intention of trying to get out of his Long Island lease early.

Once the Islanders settle into Brooklyn, they will begin a 25-year lease at the Barclays Center.

“The Islanders, I believe, will be strengthened because they were playing in an inadequate facility, and the fan experience here will be much better,” Bettman said. “If a franchise is strengthened, that’s good for everybody.”

And the NHL is certainly looking for any positive news it can get as the 39-day old lockout casts a pall over the hockey world. Bettman couldn’t avoid questions about the seemingly imminent announcement that regular-season games will be canceled for good.

Bettman set a deadline of Thursday for a new collective bargaining agreement to be reached with the players’ association that would allow for a full 82-game season to be played beginning on Nov. 2. With no negotiations scheduled, and a divide between the sides seemingly growing wider, Bettman conceded that a shortened season is the most likely scenario.

“It looks like the 82-game season is not going to be a reality,” the commissioner said

Officials in nearby Nassau County, N.Y., have struggled for years to come up with a plan to either renovate or build a new arena to replace the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which opened in 1972. Wang, the founder of a computer software company, presented a plan in 2003 for a privately funded multibillion-dollar development of housing, retail and a new arena on the property, but the proposal foundered amid community opposition.

Wang had long threatened to move the team from its home in Uniondale after the club’s lease expired. He complained that the dilapidated building is unsuited for a professional sports franchise.

“I am disappointed, too, but we’re here, we’re home,” Wang said of the decision to leave Long Island. “It’s a new place and it’s only 35 minutes away by train. Come and join us and see hockey.

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