The New York Islanders have agreed to move from their long time home of Long Island, NY to the Brooklyn based Barclays Center as early as 2015.
The team’s lease is set to expire with the Nassau Coliseum which has been their home arena since it first opened its doors in 1972 and was also the year which the Islanders were founded. The Islanders attempted to stay in Long Island where most of their fan base is located (Queens as well which is nearby) however in 2001 a proposal was nixed by Nassau County voters to construct a new $400 million arena.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has had his reservations in the past about the team moving to the Barclays Center due to the fact that first of the team would be further away from their fan base and secondly because as currently constructed the new billion dollar facility in Kings County would only be able to accommodate 14,500 at capacity for hockey which would be the lowest amount in the entire NHL. Currently the Winnipeg Jets‘ home, the MTS Center has the lowest capacity seating in the league with 15,004.
Despite Bettman’s concerns the deal will go through largely due to the fact that the Nassau Coliseum just isn’t a realistic option to host any more games following the team’s lease expiring in 2015 and the Islanders truly don’t have any other options as far as local arenas are concerned. The NBA‘s Brooklyn Nets way back when they were the New York Nets use to share an arena with the Islanders from 1972-1977 when their home was the Nassau Coliseum now come 2015 the two former neighbors will do so once again.
There has been no announcement as of yet if the team’s name will remain the same or if there will be a change occuring upon the move.