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Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Islanders learn, Karma is a bitch

Barclays Center western side
By AEMoreira042281 (Own work)
[CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)],
via Wikimedia Commons
So the Islanders are getting kicked out of their house… Is this "Karma is a bitch," or who didn’t see this coming? The Islanders moved into the Barclays Center for the start of the 2015 season. This initial agreement was really short by most arena agreements ending after the 2018 – 2019 season. All the agreements I have seen are usually 10 to 20, sometimes 30 years.
They ran out of the Nassau Coliseum faster than a rat running down the concourse to hide behind the nacho stand hoping for a dropped chip (on the lucky days he got some cheese as well). The home of Billy Joel and 4 Stanley Cups has now been refreshed for minor league hockey. Initially, it was reported that the Coliseum was not going to consider allowing its ex-tenant back. It seems that when NHL money is involved, tunes change. It will be interesting to see how this plays out; if they get any significant upgrades to the arena or if it's as-is.
To be honest, I don’t see why they had to run out of the building so fast. It was not a terrible arena, though. I saw a Pens game there with a group of pens fans. We had a whole section in the upper bowl. It has one concourse, and if you buy a tallboy, they pour it into two plastic cups. It was an old hockey barn. I miss those. We don’t have them anymore. With a good team and some marketing, this could be a thing.
With a new arena just up the road, they ran to it like a moth to a light. I haven’t been in this building, but I drove past it in May, going to the mall next to it. It’s just ugly, not like it’s an arena...what do you expect? It’s just really ugly. Then, factor in seats with limited views and an ice system that is controlled by plastic piping in an afterthought of an ice making system. You have a recipe for the fourth worst attendance in the league. Limited view seats are something old hockey barns have, in that E-level seating they added in the 90’s. Not new arenas with naming rights. It was built for basketball, hockey was an afterthought at best.
Now, like a college student knowing he can’t live in the dorms in a few years, they need to find a new home. Do they stay in NYC? I know...I know, geographically, Brooklyn is on Long Island, but it doesn’t work. The rumors are a few places on Long Island, even the old building, but a new arena needs to be built. Is the NHL bluffing that they want to stay in NYC? They don’t have a draw right now so a move could work. But, this is an historic franchise, four cups in the 80’s, four in a row. With a city like Quebec chomping at the bit for a team, they could end up there at the end of the day.

Nassau Coliseum 2015
Nassau Coliseum, By TastyPoutine (Own work)
[CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)],
via Wikimedia Commons

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