Islanders To Move To Queens?
After months of speculation, the New York Islanders appear to be seriously eyeing a move to a new facility near Citi Field in Queens.
Willets Point, long pinpointed for a potential redevelopment, could replace Brooklyn’s Barclays Center as the NHL team’s home, according to Bloomberg, which reports the team is in talks with Citi Field’s owners about a possible deal.
If the Isles stay, it would hinge on Forest City Ratner's Barclays Center becoming more hockey-friendly through changes like taking out seats that don’t allow for optimal sight lines for hockey. The arena seats a total of 15,700—which makes it relatively small for an NHL arena.
The Isles’ former home, the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, is being downsized to 13,800 seats as part of a repositioning helmed by Forest City Ratner. Its future will be as an entertainment and cultural venue. FCR’s Rebecca D’Eloia recently told Bisnow the coliseum’s new configuration won’t be suitable for NHL hockey.
The team and its fans have been unhappy with trekking to the Barclays Center for games, and attendance has been the third-lowest in the league, with an average of 13,626 fans in attendance for the 2015-16 season. [Bloomberg]