Posts Tagged ‘nassau coliseum’

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.

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.

Maybe you can go home again after all.

Amid reports the relationship between the New York Islanders and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center is heading for a split, team co-owner Jonathan Ledecky has discussed a possible return to the Veterans Coliseum, Nassau County executive Edward Mangano said in a statement, according to Robert Brodsky and Jim Baumbach of Newsday:

There is a path for the Islanders to return to the new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum where the best sight lines in NHL remain, improved attractive facilities for fans and athletes and room to add seats to accommodate the Islanders. While the decision remains with the Islanders we believe Long Island fans will make the Islanders successful in the new Coliseum.

The Coliseum served as the Islanders’ home from 1972 – 2015, at which time it was vacated in favor of Barclays Center. A $130-million renovation has since begun, and a further retrofit could allow for an updated 15,000 seat home for the Islanders that would be more hockey friendly than their current home.

The Islanders and Barclays Center each have the ability to opt out of their lease agreement in January 2018. According to Brodsky and Baumbach, if the Islanders opt out, they can leave after the 2017-18 season or the 2018-19 season. If Barclays Center opts out, the team has to leave after the 2018-19 season.

The team was also looking at the possibility of building a new arena in Queens are recently as this past July.

New York Islanders fans can sleep easily knowing they are getting their goal horn back.

The team is bringing the goal horn used at Nassau Coliseum to their new home at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, according to Eric Hornick of the team’s official website.

The decision comes after a new goal horn introduced during a preseason game against the Washington Capitals left fans outraged.

With the fourth most goals last season, it’s important the horn is something fans are eager to hear.

As the New York Islanders make the move to Brooklyn, they’re set to nix one long-standing in-game tradition.

Since 2001, the Islanders have employed ice girls, charged with shoveling loose snow off the playing surface while performing various promotional duties both inside Nassau Coliseum and in the community.

The club was the first to form such a group, with several other teams around the league gradually following suit.

But when the Islanders host the opposition within the confines of the Barclays Center, the ice girls won’t be there. Instead, a coed ice crew will be tasked with “helping create the best ice possible as mandated by the NHL,” Barry Baum, chief communications officer for Barclays Center, told Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated.

“We decided to go in a different direction,” Baum said. “We held a number of meetings with our fans on Long Island to ensure we’d bring the best traditions to Brooklyn and we think they’ll be very happy with the result.”

The New York Islanders are square with Nassau County.

The Islanders, along with property management firm SMG, have reached an agreement with the municipality, reconciling their unpaid rent, utilities, and other outstanding dues with a $3.55-million settlement, county officials told Newsday.

This year’s finances are still to be calculated, so the Islanders aren’t free and clear in Brooklyn just yet, but the agreement does clear up debt dating back to 2011.

The deal was reached on the final day of SMG’s 30-year arena lease agreement with Nassau County.