After two years and countless complaints, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center thinks it’s no longer worth it to host the New York Islanders.
The arena, which is already home to the NBA’s Nets and one of the world’s top-grossing concert venues, would make more money without the National Hockey League team, according to people familiar with the facility’s financials.
- Arena would make more money from concerts, other events
- Islanders attendance is third-worst in NHL this season
The team’s stay in Brooklyn has been rough since the get go. Fans have complained numerous times about poor sight lines and players saying the ice is sub-par. In fact, attendance for the Islanders has dropped 12,828, third-worst in the NHL.
The lease can be terminated by either the Islanders or arena management. If the team cancels, it can leave after next season. If Barclays Center nixes the deal, then the Islanders’ tenancy would end after the 2018-19 season. Then the question will be: Where will the Islanders play?
In July, Bloomberg News reported that Ledecky and Malkin were considering building a new arena adjacent to Citi Field in Queens. Prokhorov now owns the team’s former home, the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, but the owners paid a hefty premium for the team in 2014 based on the pending move to New York City. They have shown no interest in returning to Long Island.
A lot of the Islanders future moves will be to keep young-talent happy as well. Their captain, John Tavares was in plenty of rumours about testing free agency when he becomes a UFA in 2018. Those rumours though have since been shut down, as Tavares came out and said he was open to an extension. He wants to be apart of the Islanders future. The worst part about this; the Islanders have a really talented team, but are underperforming this season. A lot of distractions and changes have thrown this Isles team all over the place. Hopefully they figure out an arena situation quickly, so there are no more distractions.
Fans and players of the Islanders must be happy about the Barclays Center no longer being home ice. It was tough to see in certain sections and the players not being happy with the ice is a bit ridiculous. Nevertheless, the Islanders will be looking for a new place to call home.