This week the New York Newsday reported the Islanders were in talks to move yet again. Only this time it comes with a twist with the owners of the Mets and The Oak View Group, partially owned by Rangers and Knicks owner James Dolan, building an arena at Belmont Park. This comes on the heels of Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov not having the Islanders generating any revenue past 2018-2019 on the projections shown to investors.
Belmont Park is just another name added to the list of where the Islanders could play. Before the team left Nassau Coliseum, they were said to be headed to Kansas City, Quebec, and an arena in the Citi Field parking lot (which is still in the rumor mill with Belmont Park). Add these to the chance of moving back to the renovated Coliseum, which would now need another upgrade to meet NHL seating standards. Even the Governor of Connecticut has thrown Hartford into the mix as a destination.
In my opinion, all of this is just for negotiating a better deal for Barclays Center. The original deal was made with Charles Wang the former owner. With new principal owners coming on board this past summer I see this as a way for Barclays Center to get more favorable terms into the contract. That said, I think this is also a good time for the Islanders to try to make some stipulations of their own about arena upgrades to make it more suitable for hockey.
Anything outside of New York is just not an option to me. There is too much television money at stake to leave the number 1 media market in the country, even if the Islanders are just 1 of 3 teams in the area. Along with that, I cannot see a new owner buying a team in a brand new arena in a major market and leaving that market after 3 seasons.
That leaves 3 options outside of staying in Barclays Center (Belmont Park, Citi Field, and Nassau Coliseum). There has been talk up upgrading the area around Citi Field for years and until there is any progress or work done it’s still just talk. I don’t see the validity of Belmont Park due to the proximity to two other concert venues in the area (Nassau Coliseum and Barclays Center). So I don’t see how they would generate enough money when the Islanders aren’t playing to have the arena built.
That leaves Nassau Coliseum which is the only building currently built. Remember the “New” Nassau Coliseum is owned by the same group that owns Barclays Center, so not sure how that would work. Also for the fans clamoring for the Islanders to return, “Barclays Center is too far to go to for games”. They weren’t packing the Coliseum when the team was there. So I don’t why they would go back.
My choice? I prefer they stay in Barclays Center. I like the arena overall, I happen to have good seats, and it is closer to my house than any of the other options. That said if they must move, as long as they stay in New York, I will remain happy.
Comment below and on Facebook. I love to hear everyone’s opinions on this.
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