The honeymoon between the New York Islanders and the borough of Brooklyn appears to be over.
After just two years of the Islanders playing in their new area of the Barclays Center, the management group in charge of the building has decided that being a home rink for an NHL team just isn’t good business for them. In a report from Bloomberg, the Barclays Center is apparently evicting one of their main tenants (they also are the home arena for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets).
A financial projection for the arena, which was shared with potential investors, shows that the Islanders won’t contribute any revenue to the building after the 2018-19 NHL season. Those in charge have apparently decided they can make more money by hosting concerts, public speakers, and other events. The Islanders’ move to Brooklyn has been far from perfect — the building wasn’t designed with NHL hockey in mind, resulting in poor sight lines, weird seating configurations, and a substandard playing surface. Players regularly complain about the ice as being the worst in the league.
The poor arena situation, combined with terrible performance on the ice, has seen the average Islanders attendance fall to just under 13,000 per game.
The question now is where will the Islanders play in the future? There seems to be no indication that the NHL wants to move the team out of the New York area, although both Quebec City and Seattle have groups trying to land an NHL team. There were reports that owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin were looking into building a new arena in Queens, next to the New York Mets’ home ballpark of Citi Field.
If that’s the case, sounds like they better speed up the plans.