New York Islanders Moving to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center
The New York Islanders owner Charles B. Wang and Barclays Center principal owner Bruce Ratner announced last Wednesday (Oct. 24) that the New York Islanders would be leaving its longtime home, The Nassau Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, and will move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn beginning with the 2015-16 NHL season following the signing of a 25-year agreement for the team to play professional hockey at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The announcement was made at a press conference at the Barclays Center just above one of the busiest transportation hubs in New York City at Atlantic Yards.
Attending the press conference were New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Islanders general manager Garth Snow, and Barclays Center CEO Brent Yormark.
“It was our goal from day one to keep the Islanders in the local New York area, “said Wang.” “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to play in Barclays Center, a first class arena. This has been a long journey for the Islanders family starting with our loyal fans, sponsors and employees. I want to personally thank them for their patience, loyalty and support.” Wang went on to say, “ I am excited about today’s announcement and I am looking forward to a long and successful future in Brooklyn.”
Principal owner and leading supporter for Brooklyn’s newest sports arena Bruce Ratner, said, “We are delighted to welcome Islanders to Brooklyn and to bring The NHL hockey to the borough for the first time,” said Ratner. He pointed out that the area has first rate transportation. “Eleven subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road comes directly to Barclays Center at Atlantic Terminal, offering great accessibility for current and further Islander fans. I want to thank Charles for his determination in keeping the team in New York and for having the vision to bring his club to Brooklyn,” Ratner said.
“More than ever before, Brooklyn is the place where everyone wants to be,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Barclays Center has already brought an incredible amount of excitement to Brooklyn since opening last month. Now things will get even more interesting with Brooklyn’s first-ever NHL franchise.”
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, widely known as the number one for supporter for everything Brooklyn said, “Today is another great day for Brooklyn. When I first campaigned for Borough President I made a promise that I would bring a major league sports team to Brooklyn. But never in my wildest dreams did I think we would be home for both the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Islanders.” Markowitz added, “ with the Nets and the Islanders, Brooklyn is beginning a dominant power-play.”
The Barclays Center will reduce seating from 19,000 for concerts and 18,000 for basketball to 14,500 for Islander games with current ticket holders to receive first rights to purchase season tickets in Brooklyn.
Barclays Center is scheduled to host an extensive variety of events, including premier concerts, monthly major professional boxing cards, top college basketball, family shows, the Brooklyn Nets and in 2015 the New York Islanders.
According to a report by Forbes the Islanders were valued at $149 Million, in 2010, the second lowest in the NHL with their revenue for that season the league’s lowest at $63 million. The move to Brooklyn should increase the value of the team.