Brooklyn Bound! – New York Islanders Announce Move to Barclays Center in 2015. By Paul C. Cuthbert
Wednesday October 24th, 2012 turned from an average fall day on Long Island into an historic moment in the storied New York Islanders franchise. Shortly after 10 a.m. New York time a press release was sent out by the Islanders and Barclays Center promising a “major announcement” at 1 p.m.
Just like that, I grabbed my coat and laptop and jumped on a westbound train to Brooklyn and the newest and hottest arena in the United States, the Barclays Center. (By the way, it was easier to get Barclays in Brooklyn than driving to the Nassau Coliseum from my hometown of Lynbrook.) I walked up the block to the Center Ave train station in East Rockaway, caught the 11:25 a.m. to Jamaica Station, transferred one track over to the Atlantic Terminal Line and by 12:10 p.m. I was on the media line for the press conference at Barclays.
It is as quick and easy as a ride into Madison Square Garden.
Listen to my interviews with Islanders head coach Jack Capuano and Assitant Coach Doug Weight and their thoughts on the move and future of the organization.
I have followed the development of the Barclays Center from its inception, and it has been amazing to see this building finally open to such great reviews and attentions. Just a couple of months ago I expected—along with a few thousand other rabid hockey fans— my first trip for a hockey event at Barclays would be October 2nd for the Islanders vs. Devils pre-season game. Of course, that has since been cancelled due to the NHL Lockout.
With the lockout in full force and things so uncertain in Nassau County, there is no way myself or anyone else could have foreseen such a monumental press conference announcing the storied Islanders franchise, once the pride of Long Island and one of the most devastating teams to ever play the game, would be a 25-year lease agreement with Barclays Center.
I think in the back of a lot of people’s mind this was probably going to happen. Whether you agree with the move or not, if you are familiar with the pain staking plight of the Islanders organization the last few years, something was going to give soon enough with regards to the Nassau Coliseum and the Islanders expiring lease agreement.
Well, it gave yesterday and in a big way.
Once the smoke settles, it will become obvious that this is a great move for the Islanders and especially their fans. Too obvious, as far as I’m concerned, to spend time listing and detailing all the many reasons this is true.
For Tri-State hockey fans, who has it better than us after this deal? Madison Square Garden is going through an amazing state of transformation, the Prudential Center is a world-class arena and Barclays Center is brand spanking new. Best of all, every one of these venues is easily and affordably accessible by train.
The rivalries between the Rangers, Devils and Islanders remain intact and will no doubt get more intense now, not only on the ice but off the ice as well. July free agency time around these parts will be a lot more interesting in the future.
But all this matters very little until the lockout ends and the puck drops. Please come back soon NHL!
Complete press-conference video available at the Islanders website here – islanders.nhl.com
- Congratulations to the entire New York Islanders organization and staff. They have endured a lot of ups and downs in recent years. It will be nice to see this talented young team and front office staff get to focus and develop, now that all the arena issues off the ice have been resolved and long term stability has been set in place.
- I am sorry for the great staff at The Marriott Hotel and all the local businesses surrounding the Nassau Coliseum. No doubt the future around the Nassau HUB does not look all that bright.
- I did get a chance to talk to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman briefly and asked him if there were any issues with the Rangers on the Islanders move west and he stated there were none.
- Once the initial shock of this move wears off, I’m sure all Islanders fans will embrace this move. They have no choice now and should be grateful the team only moved a few miles west and not out of the state or out of the country for that matter. Same name, same crest and colors and those yellow fading Stanley Cup banners will be cleaned up and hung to remind all Isles fans how lucky they are to still get a chance to look up and see them. Except now the roof they will hang from won’t have any cracks in it and no asbestos will fall and get into your eyes.
Paul C. Cuthbert
Follow Paul on Twitter @PCuthbert_HTW
View past HTW articles on the Islanders arena saga here – “Islanders Arena”