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May 16, 2012

Horseshoe seating for hockey puts Barclays on thin ice

The Brooklyn Paper
by Daniel Bush

Speaking of getting away with things, the media have largely and repeatedly allowed Bruce Ratner and Brett Yormark to get away with floating the absurd notion that the not-designed-for-hockey Barclays Center might someday be home to the Islanders. Kudos to Dan Bush and the Brooklyn Paper for calling their bluff.

The Barclays Center will debut an unconventional horseshoe-shaped seating configuration for a preseason hockey game this fall — raising questions about whether the undersized arena could truly accommodate an NHL franchise.

A dozen sections behind one of the goals will be closed off when the Islanders take on the hated New Jersey Devils on Oct. 2, according to a seating chart that shows what hockey might look like in a $1-billion arena that would be the smallest stadium in the National Hockey League and the only arena without wrap-around seating.

Nets spokesman Barry Baum confirmed the seating arrangement, but declined to provide further details.

“We have to see how all the sight lines are and then we’ll move forward,” Baum said.

Arena developer Bruce Ratner has long courted the Islanders. Hockey was originally considered for the arena but the plans were scuttled after Barclays Center’s starchitect Frank Gehry was fired in 2009 and his proposed design was scrapped to cut costs.


Posted by eric at May 16, 2012 12:54 PM