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April 22, 2012

NHL commissioner suggests that lack of accessibility makes Barclays Center not viable for Islanders (really?)

Atlantic Yards Report

The AP reported April 20:

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says Brooklyn may not be a viable potential destination for the New York Islanders because it's hard to reach for the team's fan base in Long Island and Queens.
...Bettman reiterated Friday that the league ideally wanted the club to remain in Nassau County. The Islanders plan to leave outdated Nassau Coliseum after their lease expires in 2015. Nassau voters rejected a $400 million referendum last year for a new arena.
Bettman said at an Associated Press Sports Editors meeting that the league was helping the Islanders explore their options "in the metropolitan area" and that moving the team to outside New York was not currently being considered.

That's an interesting explanation, given that the building, as Forest City officials admit, was designed specifically for basketball, precluding major league hockey. That said, it could fit 14,500 for hockey, with some lousy sightlines, and while that's very low for the league, it exceeds typical Islanders attendance.

Bettman, it seems, is trying to give a boost to a new arena on Long Island.

See discussion on Islanders Point Blank and NetsDaily regarding such things as the loss of Islanders fans who'd typically drive to a game vs. the potential to attract new fans via public transit and walk-up visitors.

link

Posted by steve at April 22, 2012 5:49 PM