With all the canceled hockey games this season, it’s about time a NHL team wake up a slumping public sports fan. Well in the nick of time we’re going to hear an announcement today at 1 p.m. Rumor has it that The New York Islanders and Barclays Center will tie the knot. The hockey team is set to skip over to the arena in Brooklyn and thus the big names, Mayor Bloomberg, Islanders owner Charles Wang, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman Developer Bruce Ratner and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz are all scheduled to be present for the announcement this Wednesday afternoon.
There’s been speculation for several years that the Islanders could leave the New York area as attempts to build a new arena in Nassau County have fallen flat. Their lease deal with the aging Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum ends in 2015.
The idea of moving the Islanders to the Barclays Center has been thrown around for at least a year now. The team was scheduled to play a preseason game at the new arena this fall, but the game was wiped out by the ongoing NHL lockout.
Also in attendance at the press conference will be Islanders general manager Garth Snow and Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett Yormark.
The Islanders have been in New York for 39 years. Last season, the Islanders were 34-37 under head coach Jack Capuano. It was their fifth straight fifth-place finish in the Atlantic Division.
The big tip came from Chris Botta of Sports Business Journal reporting that the Islanders will be heading to Brooklyn, opening play there in 2015.
The new arena just opened and is home to the Brooklyn Nets, who moved from New Jersey to the New York borough.
The two obvious possibilities are an announcement they’re moving to Barclays Center permanently or that they’re going to play a handful of regular preseason and regular-season games there on a regular basis. According to the most recent reports and the impressive people that will be in attendance you can rest assure that it won’t be the later.
The Islanders won four Stanley Cups in a row from ’79-’80 through ’82-’83.