It took some time for the New York Islanders to find a new home. After years of rejection by Nassau County, the Islanders have finally found a new, state of the art arena over 30 minutes away from their current location.
The arena is still technically on Long Island, if you consider Brooklyn a part of that area, so there's a positive. Public transit, a problem that the Coliseum couldn't do anything about, will not be a problem at the Barclays Center. It's a high-tech, arena of the future. An arena not suitable for a professional hockey team.
The Barclays Center was built for basketball and concerts, not a full 41 game schedule for a professional hockey club. The Islanders were going to play a preseason game at the arena. But thanks to the lockout, that test drive never happened. Even though the arena barely fits an NHL size arena on the floor, a seat capacity of 14,500 for hockey is the lowest in the league. The average attendance for the Islanders last season was 13,191.
Despite the lack of current accommodations and seats without any obstructed views, the Islanders and their fans should be thankful that the team won't be playing in Seattle, Quebec City, or Kansas City in 2015. Be thankful that the Nets were able to bring basketball to Brooklyn with the help of part-owner Jay-Z. A fallback plan that guarantees the Islanders stay in the New York metropolitan area up until 2040 was more of a hope instead of reality before Wednesday.
The Islanders went through all of their options to replace their decaying building, and they have to balance the positives and the negatives with this move.
A positive is definitely the three years before they move in. You would think that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will request that the Barclays Center be more "hockey friendly" by the time the Islanders show up with their equipment and four Stanley Cup banners from the 1980s. Adding at least two thousand seats to the hockey setup you would think.
A big negative is leaving Nassau County behind. The team campaigned to build a new arena in the area. They have played there since their inaugural season in 1972. For residents of Long Island, their commute to games just got a little longer. On a side note, does the logo get modified to show Brooklyn on the insignia? Just a random question.
The organization has to be thankful that Forest City Enterprises and ONEXIM Sports & Entertainment left the option open for the Islanders to move in. It's not the perfect situation, but moving into a new place you didn't have to pay for is nice though. Paying rent to play at this futuristic arena where you can order your food from your smartphone is not too bad. The Islanders just have to fill the seats and put together a winning team.