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Blog Entry

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

Posted on: August 2, 2011 3:28 pm
 

By Brian Stubits

The morning after the Islanders' arena hopes were shot down by the voters of Long Island, life goes on. And it hasn't taken long for the possibilities for the future of the franchise to take shape.

If the team isn't able to secure a home in Uniondale for 2016 and beyond, the team will find a new home and the first place that comes to mind is Brooklyn. I discussed that option a bit yesterday, noting the viability of moving the team just a little ways west.

But that might not be as sure shot as it appeared on first glance. Yes, there will be a fancy new arena that will host the Nets, and yes it will have ice rink capabilities. However, the problem lies in the amount of seats it could fit for hockey. The capacity of the arena for basketball is listed at 18,000, but to make the arena work for hockey, it would have to be cut to 14,000-15,000. That would make it the smallest arena in the NHL, smaller than Winnipeg's MTS Centre.

It would be a very tough sell, but not an impossible one. If it came down to the only viable option to remain in the New York area, you'd have to think Gary Bettman would be able to swallow the pill a little easier. He doesn't want to uproot teams -- see Phoenix -- and especially wouldn't be exicted about taking a team from a market like New York. That's if the Nets and Barclays Center would consent to the Isles sharing the joint.

"We will continue to work closely with the Islanders to explore whatever options still may be available in light of what obviously is not a positive department," Bettman said in a statement to Islanders Point Blank. "Our goal is for the team to remain on Long Island and we still hope that objective can be realized."

On the ownership side, it sure shounds like you can cross Russian tycoon and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov out of the mix. He has made it known that he isn't interested in buying any other sports teams right now. Now that isn't a big hurdle, Wang could hold onto the team himself or find some other owner from the area. In New York, that's not a terribly tough task.

At this point, Wang and the Islanders aren't talking about the future home of the team, just its future on the ice. But behind the scenes, they have to be thinking about their next move. If they are going to stay in the area, which still seems the most likely to happen, they need to start the process now. Arenas don't just go up over night.

As for the land where the arena currently sits? Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is moving on to Plan B, asking for proposals for people interested in the land. That doesn't include or exclude the arena sticking around.

"We're looking for a vision on what we have and what will become available in 2015," Mangano was quoted as saying by Newsday.

While it is still way too early to say what will happen to the Islanders and the land, it's certainly cloudier today than it was this time a week ago.

Photo: otrbasketball.com

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Comments

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: August 3, 2011 3:12 pm
 

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

n the ownership side, it sure shounds like you can cross Russian tycoon and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov out of the mix. He has that he isn't interested in buying any other sports teams right now. Now that isn't a big hurdle, Wang could hold onto the team himself or find some other owner from the area. In New York, that's not a terribly tough task.

At this point, Wang and the Islanders aren't talking about the future home of the team, just its future on the ice. But behind the scenes, they have to be thinking about their next move. If they are going to stay in the area, which still seems the most likely to happen, they need to start the process now. Arenas don't just go up over night.

As for the land where the arena currently sits? Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is moving on to Plan B, asking for proposals for people interested in the land. That doesn't include or exclude the arena sticking around.

"We're looking for a vision on what we have and what will become available in 2015," Mangano was quoted as saying by Newsday.

While it is still way too early to say what will happen to the Islanders and the land, it's certainly cloudier today than it was this time a week ago.



Brooklyn? Too funny. You really think Brooklynites care about hockey? They're headed to Quebec. Over 2,000 Quebec fans made the trek to Long Island last year to show their need for a franchise. Quebec City has no sports teams. They want hockey back and they'll support it. It also will be great for the Canadiens and the NHL. Move them to the N.East division and Boston to the Atlantic.

The NHL should encourage Wang to get out of his lease ASAP. That building is not only a joke, but dangerous. The Isles should play 2011-2012 in Long island, then immediately leave.

I don't blame Long Islanders an iota for voting down any tax increase. They have one of the highest tax bases in the country and with this economy it is unbelievable Wang has the gall to ask for any public funding. Let him build his own arena if he wants to stay. The Jets-Giants, Mets and Yankees all did. Now, that he lost and was drubbed, he should sell it to an owner who has a clue.

The Isles has a magic run from 1980-1984. During that span they made 5 straight NHL Finals and won 4 cups. Since then, they've been a joke making the playoffs only a handful of times. They play in a terrible arena where they don't draw flies. It's time to move the franchise from an area that can't and won't support them. Sending them to Brooklyn is laughable.



Since: Aug 1, 2011
Posted on: August 3, 2011 1:09 am
 

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

If the islanders are forced to move , i see them going to kansas city or quebec



Since: Nov 25, 2006
Posted on: August 2, 2011 10:59 pm
 

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

I doubt they'll move to Brooklyn unless the Nets ownership convinces them or shows some willingness to host the Isles, which doesn't look to be the case. They'll either figure out a way to stay on LI or move somewhere far like Kansas City or Seattle.

p.s. Queens and Bklyn are NOT part of Long Island..Geographically yes, a bridge isn't necessary, but LI strictly means Nassau/Suffolk,aka not a borough of NYC 



Since: Mar 30, 2007
Posted on: August 2, 2011 10:34 pm
 

Islanders: Queens as home?

What happened to the idea (floating around about 6 months ago) that the Islanders would move to a new arena next to the Mets' Citifield?  It's in Queens which is still technically in Long Island and could draw more of the "city" fans.  Anyone have any info as to why this is not being mentoned anymore as a viable opton?



Since: Jul 28, 2011
Posted on: August 2, 2011 7:20 pm
 

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

i agree with you, the isles definately have a following but its a situation similiar to the knicks.... get the talent and the fans will come running out of the woodworks again.... they won't be in brooklyn in my opinion although a part of me would like to see that being that i live in the borough already, but the city is really rangers country, the islander fans are dominantly in queens nassau and suffolk ... its crappy to think hockey will only have one city team now when the nets are coming to ny .... would be nice to see 2 teams in all 4 mojor sports



Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: August 2, 2011 4:44 pm
 

Islanders aftermath: Brooklyn's viability as home

People can say what they want about the Islanders but I dont see any chance the Isles move to Brooklyn.  Their is no way the Isles can move to a new arena that hold no more then 15,000.  I know what you people will say, "the Isles only averages 11K and change this year."  Even though that is true, if the Isles would have gotten their new arena in Nassau county their is no querstion they would average 17K or more.


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