Islanders Following the Nets to a New Arena in Brooklyn

The Islanders are moveing to Brooklyn.

(from the New York Times, October 24, 2012) The New York Islanders announced Wednesday afternoon they would be moving from Nassau County to Brooklyn, New York. Brooklyn, which has not had a professional team for 50 years, is now the home of both the Nets and the recently acquired Islanders. The Islanders signed a 25-year deal with the Barclays Center, and is awaiting approval by the National Hockey League. The Islanders hope to generate some excitement by leaving the sleepy suburb of Nassau and moving to the heart of Brooklyn.

The Barclays Center, which was just opened this year, already has a busy schedule for the upcoming year. The arena has hosted many sold-out shows, including multiple sellout performances by Jay-Z. The arena will also be host to the inaugural season for the revamped Brooklyn Nets, who recently moved to Brooklyn from New Jersey.  The addition of the Islander means New York City will now have six major professional sports teams in the four boroughs.

The Islanders will start skating in the Barclays Center in the 2015-2016 season. Owner, Charles B. Wang, says he plans to continue using the current name and will not switch New York for Brooklyn. He commented the Islanders have a long rich tradition, and they want to continue the tradition. However, the Islanders may have to change their logo because it features an image of Long Island and cuts off Brooklyn.

There are some problems in the arena switch for the Islanders. The major dilemma is the Barclays Center was not designed for hockey.  A hockey rink is much bigger and will take away about 3,500 seats to fit the rink. This will give the Islanders a capacity of approximately 16,250. This may not prove to be too large of a problem considering the average home attendance in Nassau was 13,191.

Some fans feel the move is a betrayal on Long Island. The Islanders feel in the long-term the decision was for the best financially, and should help revitalize the team into Stanley Cup contenders in the future.