October 20, 2020

Hello Brooklyn, Again

New York Islanders sweatshirts New York Islanders sweatshirts Photo Credit Unknown

In 2015, another team based in another sport will join the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center. It’s the sport where NorthFace products are the preferred choice and the audience cheers its heroes who grace the ice. It’s not Disney on Ice, but Hockey. The New York Islanders will room with the Nets come fall 2015. The Islanders have signed a 25-year lease with the Barclays Center leaving their current home in Uniondale Long Island at the Nassau Coliseum for good.

With this move, I see Barclays’ management aiming for the same success that the New York Knicks and Rangers have shared across the river at Madison Square Garden for so many years generating several memories for the baby boom generation. The Barclays Center will continue to hold on to the new car smell as long as it can because this is only its second year in existence and the agreement to bring Hockey to Brooklyn proves just that. It’s a business move but a smart move, bringing the awareness of Hockey to a city and a borough not familiar with the sport, but also mirroring the rivalry that the Nets and Knicks have established hoping to do so with the Rangers.

The Barclays Center holds 17,732 for Nets Basketball and will hold 14,000 for Islanders Hockey. The Nassau Coliseum has a capacity to seat 16,234 fans, but due to the fact that the Islanders averaged 13,191 fans a game, the reduced number of seats will be able to serve its purpose. On September 21st, 2013, the Islanders played their initial game in Brooklyn; the beginning. It was a preseason matchup against the New Jersey Devils who visited the city, not midtown Manhattan, but Brooklyn. Unfortunately, the Devils delivered a loss, defeating the Islanders with a shut-out 3-0.

The game’s outcome was not significant enough to overshadow the fan reaction concerning the new shift to Brooklyn.

“There’s no place for tailgating,” said Megan Leach to a New York Times correspondent. “That changes the whole dynamic of going to Islander games.”

“I feel misplaced, almost like hockey doesn’t belong here,” said Steve Cotrone also to the New York Times. “It feels fictional.”

While some were negative, others were positive.

“I like the brightness of the arena, and to me, the sight lines look good for hockey,” says Gerry McDonald, a former defenseman of the Hartford Whalers and father to current Islanders Colin Mcdonald to the New York Times. “I’m excited for the Islanders’ future.”

“It’s great the Islanders are staying in New York, that’s most important to me,” said Andrew Caprio. “To me, there’s still no better place to watch a game than Nassau Coliseum, but we’ll see how the new place works out.”

Barclays Center is changing things in Brooklyn and seems as though they will continue to push the envelope in bringing excellence in entertainment to Atlantic Avenue.

Hello Brooklyn.

Gregory Alcala

Gregory Alcala is a reporter for What's The 411Sports, a weekly sports news and commentary television show. He is What's The 411Sports' primary reporter covering the Brooklyn Nets. Greg is very passionate about sports and welcomes the challenge of speaking about a variety of sports including his main interest in professional basketball and baseball. 

Greg gained his initial career experience at St. Francis College, as one of the founding members of the Terriers Sports Network (TSN). He is responsible for shooting live sporting events, reporting news for packages and broadcast production duties. Additionally, Greg maintains his own sports blog entitled, "Sports N' Thoughts," where he develops sports related articles and posts video content for public consumption.

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