Islanders Moving to Brooklyn

October 24, 2012

Features, Hockey

No, this isn’t your standard location change.  The New York Islanders will remain just that, even if their move to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center technically makes them Islanders no more.

According to Newsday and several other sources, Islanders owner Charles Wang will be holding a press conference at the Barclays Center today to make an announcement that is believed to be the decision to have the Islanders make Brooklyn their home.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Wang, Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner and Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz are all scheduled to attend the 1PM news conference.

The decision is a result of a constant struggle by Islanders ownership, dating back long before Wang took over the team (and proceeded to run it even further into the ground), to get an updated arena to replace Nassau Coliseum.

The Coliseum, considered a dump by many including Long Island natives, saw the Nets of the NBA move to Brooklyn beginning this season and now sees the Islanders follow suit.

Wang has repeatedly tried to get a new building approved for the team only to be voted down by the residents of Nassau County and Wang has been adamant that the team would not be playing in the building when their lease expires in 2015.

With the Barclays Center located in one of the largest transportation hubs in New York City, transportation shouldn’t be an issue. Nor should distance, as it is a shade over an hour from Long Island to Brooklyn.

Provided the county doesn’t come through with a surprise deal to furnish a new arena in Nassau, this is a move that works out for everyone.

Nassau County doesn’t get hit with the bill for a brand new arena, the Islanders get a nice shiny new home in the Barclays Center and, theoretically, if they played their cards right could see an opportunity to step out of the shadow of the New York team that garners most of the attention — the Rangers.

The goal, as it has been from the start, is to build a new arena in Nassau to not only keep the Islanders there but to provide jobs as well.  Finally having an out, it will be interesting to see how this develops.

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