It's more than just talk now.
On Tuesday the Isles announced that they will play the first NHL game in Barclays Center, an Oct. 2 exhibition against the New Jersey Devils. If the speculation wasn't strong enough already about the arena in Brooklyn being a new home for the Islanders in a couple of years, it's sure to ratchet up now.
“We’re extremely excited to play the first NHL game in the new, state-of-the-art Barclays Center,” Islanders General Manager Garth Snow said. “We already have some of the most passionate fans in the league supporting our young team, and we are looking forward to expanding our base into Brooklyn.”
The high amount of intrigue in a preseason game, of course, surrounds the viability of Barclays as an NHL arena and the possibility of it being a new home for the Isles considering their past failures to secure a new arena in Nassau County.
And it's actually led to some politicking from Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark.
"It will be good for the Islanders to see what playing in a state of the art venue feels like," Yormark said. He continued by saying "We'd love for Charles to consider Brooklyn." He's talking about as a home for the Islanders and Charles refers to Isles owner Charles Wang.
Not to be outdone, Nassau County politician Ed Mangano, who spearheaded the effort to get a new arena built in Uniondale, weighed in on the team's upcoming visit closer toward Manhattan.
“I hope their experience in Brooklyn reaffirms why they should be playing hockey in Nassau County," Mangano said.
No matter how well it might or might not go for the Islanders in the exhibition, the one big hurdle to clear with the Barclays Center is the hockey seating capacity of only 14,500, less than Winnipeg's NHL-lowest MTS Centre. But considering the Islanders are averaging 12,670 this season, I don't see much of a problem. Supply and demand economics would make the tickets more valuable if they start hitting capacity.
What do you think: Is this the start of the Islanders getting a new home? They would still be on the Island, that beats a lot of other locales.
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