It was announced yesterday that the Barclays Center will be booting the Islanders out following the conclusion of the 2018-19 season. This leaves the Islanders with 2 years to find a new stadium to play in. The owners of the Islanders, Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky, have been looking around for awhile for new potential stadium venues. These include near Belmont Park, next to Citi Field, and even a return to Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn after the 2014-15 season was met with backlash by the fans as well as the players. For the fans in Long Island, it’s very hard for them to get to the Barclays Center. Many of the seats in the stadium have obstructed views. Both home and visiting players have complained about the quality of the ice. Despite being a playoff team last season, this season’s average attendance is ranked as the third-worst in the NHL.
At the moment, I’m happy to hear that the Islanders will be leaving the Barclays Center, but I’m also concerned about where they will end up playing. During the all-star weekend, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman talked about the Islanders and the Barclays Center, saying “There are some issues about playing in Barclays, it may be fundamental to the ice system, and that’s something that cannot be fixed in the short term. I think as is prudent, Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky are reviewing the situation and looking very seriously at what their options are.” This statement was made shortly before it was announced that the Islanders would be leaving the Barclays Center.
According to a report from Newsday, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano had a meeting with co-owner Jon Ledecky last November to talk about the possibility of the Islanders returning to Nassau Coliseum in Hempstead. When asked about the Islanders’ possible return to the Coliseum today, Mangano said that he is confident that the team would be satisfied with the newly renovated facility if they end up choosing to return. Additionally, the Town of Hempstead Supervisor Anthony J. Santino issued a statement in which he said he would be happy to have the Islanders back and is willing to do whatever he can to make them happy. Hopefully, the Islanders can once again call Nassau Coliseum their home following their departure from the Barclays Center.