Blog Entry

Report: Brooklyn arena execs meet NHL officials

Posted on: August 19, 2011 4:15 pm

By Brian Stubits

The possibility of the Islanders staying on Long Island, just much closer to the city, is growing.

Katie Strang of Newsday reported on Friday that NHL officials met with Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner and CEO Brett Yormark. Both men are not only involved with the arena being built in Brooklyn, but are also involved with the New Jersey Nets organization. It's not reported what the discussion concerned, but the logical assumption concerned hockey in Brooklyn and the Islanders.

Perhaps the first place that popped up as a future home of the Islanders after their arena vote on August 1 was met with a resounding no was Brooklyn. Considering there is a state of the art arena that is going up, the fit seemed natural. The Islanders wouldn't have to go but a few miles down the road instead of relocating to Canada or west of the Mississippi.

But the elephant in the room has been the size of the Barclays Center. It will be a great fit for the NBA's Nets, but the number of adequate seats for hockey is an issue.

Here is what Yormark said in an email to Newsday soon after the August 1 vote.

"The Barclays Center will have an ice rink that can support professional hockey. Due to the venue's design, the capacity for hockey would be a few thousand seats less than for basketball. While we hope to explore hockey opportunities in the future, our primary focus at the moment is to build the best sports and entertainment venue in the world."

Specifically, the arena would figure to host a little more than 14,000 for hockey. That would make it easily the smallest venue in the NHL, lower than the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. But that isn't a deal-breaker.

"We have no set seating capacity or requirements established," a league spokesperson told Newsday.

This is pretty much good news any way you slice it unless you are in Quebec City keeping your fingers crossed. I've said all along that after the rejection of the vote, Brooklyn would be the next best alternative to staying in Nassau County. The concerns about the size of the arena for hockey are justified, but I feel could be mitigated with the location of the arena. Demand would likely increase for tickets with the location closer to the city and the prices would certainly rise. All in all, the numbers could come out to around the same or better. That's before you consider the lease situation.

Photo: Getty Images

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Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: August 20, 2011 4:04 am

Report: Brooklyn arena execs meet NHL officials

The demand for the seating could push ticket prices up substantially, with a move closer to the city making games an attractive venue.  If upper deck seating begins at $45 and the stadium sells out routinely, then lack of high capacity seating is more than mitigated.  I've always said that the Islanders are too great of a franchise to be relocated to another city.  Quebec City might deserve a team, but it's more likely its the Coyotes in 2012 or 2013 than the Isles.

Since: Aug 20, 2010
Posted on: August 19, 2011 10:47 pm

Report: Brooklyn arena execs meet NHL officials

14k will work out fine. When was the last time the Isles got 14,000 out to a home game?

Since: Mar 15, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2011 8:49 pm

Report: Brooklyn arena execs meet NHL officials

The seats may be fewer, but the arena is state of the art. And the prices will go up because, like the article says, it is closer to The City. The Islanders have not been a great franchise since the 80s, so it would be hard to even sell out 14K seats anyway. But raising the prices and a new influx of fans from the 5 boroughs would certainly help. As long as the long-Wang of Isles management starts to turn this team around, maybe years from now there could be talks of expansion. When the Isles are actually helping pay the rent. I like the move

Since: Jun 17, 2011
Posted on: August 19, 2011 8:39 pm

Report: Brooklyn arena execs meet NHL officials

Move the Islanders to Atlanta,they need a hockey team,by the way it's 2-0 Cincinnati over Pittsburgh.

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2011 7:59 pm

Report: Brooklyn arena execs meet NHL officials

it would be best if they stay in NY, but 14k seats?  not going to help with cash flow...

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: August 19, 2011 4:52 pm

Report: Brooklyn arena execs meet NHL officials

Wow. This is VERY interesting to say the least. The fact that NHL officials are involved makes this a very intriguing story.

I'd like to know who exactly these officials were, but I can wait.

Being an Islanders fan I'm quite accustomed to waiting. But of course the sooner I hear more news on this story the better. But just to read something like this about a specific location, Barclays Center and its developer Bruce Ratner, shows that the ball is rolling.

And Brooklyn would be a real nice relocation for the Isles.

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