Posts Tagged ‘Barclays Center’

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The New York Islanders appear to have a temporary arena plan in place.

Co-owner Jon Ledecky confirmed the club will remain at Barclays Center in Brooklyn until at least the end of the 2018-19 season, according to Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post.

Additionally, the Islanders remain wholly committed to building a new arena at Belmont Park, which is just outside of New York City, as per a bid submitted in late September.

What happens after next season and prior to the opening of a new rink remains a bit of a mystery, but a move back to Long Island appears to be out of the question.

The Islanders have called Barclays Center home since 2015-16. Along with the long-term arena uncertainty, the team faces the prospect of losing franchise center John Tavares to unrestricted free agency next summer.

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Part of the deal between Nassau County and Barclays Center, where the Islanders play now, but which operates the renovated Nassau Coliseum, is that the Islanders either play four regular-season games and two preseason games at their traditional home, or the county gets an extra $1 million in rent.

Because Sunday’s preseason contest between the Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers is the only scheduled NHL action at the Coliseum in 2017-18, Nassau County is getting its extra million bucks.

Sunday’s game also was little more than a tease. Gary Bettman said earlier this month at the Winter Classic press conference that “my gut reaction is it’s not a viable option” for the Islanders to return to an arena that got a $165 million renovation but still has many of the same issues as it did before the Islanders moved to Brooklyn, simultaneously 22 miles and light years away.

John Tavares nearly blew the top off the old barn when he scored his second goal of the game, an overtime winner to give the Islanders a 3-2 verdict. The level of sound in the old barn is the same as ever when the building is full, and the sellout crowd serenaded the Islanders all the way off the ice.

“It was pretty close to what we had in the playoffs,” Tavares said. “It was through the roof coming out in warmups and certainly the start of the game. Hearing the ‘Let’s go Islanders’ chants and the ‘Yes! Yes!’ chants (for goals) were prominent again. This fan base has got a tremendous identity, and they don’t want to lose hold of that. As players, we recognize that, and we want to reward them with good hockey, so this was fun.”

During the break between the third period and overtime, the fans made their opinion known, loudly chanting, “BRING THEM BACK.” The chant rose up again after Tavares’ game-winning goal.

“They certainly wanted to be heard,” Tavares said. “That’s above my pay grade, but I think certainly this place is very meaningful to this organization and the identity of this organization for a reason.”

 

The identity lives on in the Islanders’ logo, which has not changed since the move to Brooklyn. The tip of the “I” in the word “Islanders” points directly to the location of Nassau Coliseum. Keeping the team’s identity exactly the same is one of the reasons the move has felt half-baked for a lot of people, and why a return to Nassau County, even for an afternoon, was priceless.

“It means a lot,” said Matt Mead of Rockville Center, wearing a vintage Dave Scatchard jersey. “It’s kind of sad, because you know we’re going to have to head to Brooklyn after this, so it’s nice to have one little last hurrah here. It’s a good turnout, and I got to see a lot of old friends that I haven’t seen in a while.

“I’m enjoying it. It’s a 30-minute train ride to get to Brooklyn – it’s not that bad, but I miss coming here, tailgating, being with friends and family. Brooklyn’s a little bit of a pain.”

That pain is measurable in the fact that the Islanders ranked 28th in the NHL in attendance last year, at 13,101 per game, 82.9% of capacity in Brooklyn. That was down from an average of 13,626 (86.2%) in the first season in Brooklyn, while the Islanders averaged 15,334 per game, 94.8% of the final-season capacity at the Coliseum.

Sunday’s crowd of 13,917 not only filled the Coliseum, but the parking lot as well. Arriving in the morning, fans set up their tailgates and Islanders flags flew all over.

“I think we had a good sense that was going to happen,” said Tavares, who owns 89 regular-season goals at the Coliseum, plus five in the playoffs. “That was such a great part of Islanders hockey and who the Islanders are, is a lot of weekend afternoon games or evening Saturday home games, people out in the parking lot with a lot of space, just enjoying the atmosphere of what it was to be an Islander fan. It was great that they got to enjoy that again.”

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Gary Bettman doesn’t sound keen on the idea of the New York Islanders returning to their old barn for the long haul.

“I don’t view the Nassau Coliseum as a viable option,” the NHL commissioner said Friday at a press conference announcing next year’s Winter Classic at Citi Field in Queens, N.Y., according to Newsday’s Jim Baumbach and Steve Zipay.

“Ultimately, whether or not the Islanders want to consider that and bring it to the league or something, you’ve had to ask them about it,” Bettman said. “But my gut reaction is it’s not a viable option.”

Nassau lawmakers held a press conference of their own back in July in an attempt to woo the Islanders back to their original arena, even as a temporary solution.

The club will soon submit a proposal for a brand-new facility at Belmont Park. Bettman declined to specifically address that possibility Friday.

“The Islanders have very good options and they’re in the process of evaluating what makes the most sense for the franchise and their fans,” he said.

Bettman did say he believes the New York metro area can support another arena.

The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, as it’s officially known, has been renovated over the last couple of years since the club left for Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in 2015.

If officials with the Brooklyn-based facility want to opt out of their 25-year lease, as they’ve reportedly considered, that would have to happen before Jan. 30, according to Newsday.

The Islanders will play a preseason game at Nassau Coliseum on Sept. 17 against the Philadelphia Flyers, but Bettman said Friday he doesn’t think playing additional games there “makes a lot of sense.”

The club has dealt with several issues at Barclays Center, including piping systems that don’t meet NHL requirements and poor sightlines.

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Wrestling fans concerned about WWE’s association with US President Donald Trump have been protesting outside Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre ahead of SummerSlam weekend, according to Gothamist.

The company will host its second-biggest show of the year from the New York borough on Sunday night, 24 hours after the annual NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn show.

And whilst it has been making local headlines for Triple H’s cameo appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night show, a group of NY residents have organised a rally after a controversial week for the White House.

The President provoked strong criticism from sections of the press when he was said to have hinted at similarities between Neo-Nazis and counter-protesters following scenes of violence in Charlottesville last weekend.

Noting that WWE has effectively cut its ties with Hulk Hogan after a tape of its former poster-boy using a racial epithet emerged two years ago, the protesters have suggested that Trump should accordingly be removed from the Hall of Fame.

John Stevens, among those leading the calls, told Gothamist: “What Trump has done is remarkably worse than what Hogan did, since he’s dividing the country by siding with neo-Nazis and white nationalists.”

He went on to suggest that, by having Trump remain a part of its Hall of Fame, WWE is – in effect – endorsing his brand of politics.

Another fan, Stephen Miller, is quoted as saying: If they choose to leave him in the HOF I will question whether or not I’ll continue to watch their product.”

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Having received little interest in minority shares, Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov is now considering upping the ante and selling a majority stake in the Brooklyn Nets, according to The New York Post’s Josh Kosman and Brian Lewis.

After seeing the level of intrigue surrounding the Houston Rocets ever since their owner, Leslie Alexander, put the franchise up for sale, Prokhorov is reportedly hopeful there will be some parties who also give his Nets a look.

“As word gets out about the new Nets process, some of the Rockets interest may spill over,” an unnamed source said.

A group of Chinese investors has reportedly caught the eye of both teams. Houston still has an enormous fan base in that part of the world because of eight-time All-Star Yao Ming, while Brooklyn’s support is on the rise due to Jeremy Lin being on its current roster.

“Our brand in China is growing, in merchandise sales and commercially,” Nets CEO Brett Yormark told The Post.

With the Rockets reportedly looking for $2 billion in a sale, Prokhorov is seeking a similar valuation.

He initially bought an 80 percent stake in the Nets while they were situated in New Jersey, while also obtaining 45 percent in the Barclays Center. The team moved to Brooklyn in 2012, with Prokhorov eventually taking full control in 2015.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

A group of local lawmakers is proposing the New York Islanders return to Nassau Coliseum, the barn which the team called home for more than 40 seasons before it uprooted for Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in 2015.

Nassau and Suffolk county lawmakers will hold a press conference Friday, urging the firm redeveloping Nassau Coliseum to make the required upgrades needed for the Islanders’ return.

“We have been assured by (developer) Nassau Events Center that they are very willing to make necessary modifications to accommodate an NHL team,” Nassau lawmakers wrote in a letter to the Islanders’ ownership, according to Robert Brodsky and Jim Baumbach of Newsday.

Seating capacity was a primary concern why the Islanders left Nassau Coliseum, a 1971-built arena that had 16,170 seats. The ongoing renovation has reduced it to 13,000. The Winnipeg Jets are home to the NHL’s smallest arena by seating capacity, coming in at 15,294.

In a statement to Newsday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Nassau Coliseum is not a “suitable option” for the Islanders.

However, the move to Brooklyn has not been without its own concerns, as the arena was initially built for basketball, leaving many seats with an obstructed view of the Islanders’ ice surface.

The Islanders have a 25-year lease at Barclays Center, but can opt out of the agreement as early as 2018. In April, the team submitted a request for proposal to build a new arena at Belmont Park in Nassau County.

While the location of the team’s future home remains uncertain, the Islanders will play at least one more game at Nassau Coliseum, as it was announced last month that the arena will host a preseason game next season between the Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers.

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The first step toward opting out of a 25-year agreement between Barclays Center and the New York Islanders has been taken, sources tell Jim Baumbach and Robert Brodsky of Newsday.

The arena’s parent company, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, recently notified the club in writing that the window to renegotiate the terms of the license agreement is open, as per the terms of the deal.

Baumbach and Brodsky further explain what this means:

The two sides have until Jan. 1, 2018, to renegotiate the terms, according to the summary of the license agreement previously obtained by Newsday. If no new deal is reached, the two sides can stay with the current deal or choose to opt out. Each side would have until Jan. 30, 2018, to deliver an opt-out notice in writing.

If the Islanders decide to opt out, the team can choose to leave at the end of next season or at the end of the 2018-19 season. If Barclays triggers the opt-out, the Islanders would have to leave after the 2018-19 season.

Back in April, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed the Islanders are planning to submit a bid to build an arena in Belmont Park, while Baumbach and Brodsky report the operators of Barclays Center will present a plan that would send the team back to a freshly renovated Nassau Coliseum.

The letter is described as a procedural step, and both the Islanders and Barclays Center declined to comment.