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NHL Hockey at the Barclays Center

THE PUCK DROPS HERE

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The Islanders are moving to Brooklyn.

The Long Island-based hockey team announced on Wednesday that it will play its home games at the new Barclays Center at Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues beginning in 2015 — and continuing through 2040.

The breakaway to Brooklyn comes after Islanders owner Charles Wang claimed he would move his team out of Long Island if he didn’t get a new arena to replace the asbestos-riddled Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum by the time his lease there expires at the end of next year. Long Island voters nixed a plan for that new arena shortly before the completion of the Barclays Center, giving Wang all the incentive he needed to depart for Brooklyn.

“Our goal is to have the Islanders play in a world class arena and we have achieved that goal,” Wang said.

On hand for the announcement were Mayor Bloomberg, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Borough President Markowitz, and a slew Barclays Center bigwigs including Forest City Ratner head Bruce Ratner, who cheered the Islanders owner for keeping team in New York.

“Charles got offers to move the team out of state, but he wouldn’t do that,” Ratner said.

The Islanders will become the second professional sports team to call the Barclays Center home, joining the Brooklyn Nets — which moved to the arena from the Prudential Center in New Jersey this year and will take the court on Nov. 1.

And Markowitz says he can’t wait until the first puck drops.

“I will take the first spin on the Zamboni,” said Markowitz.

The move is somewhat of a surprise, considering the Barclays Center was not designed with a hockey rink in mind, and when games are played there many seats will be left empty to accommodate the playing area, which is larger than a basketball court.

But Ratner has long courted the Islanders. Hockey was originally considered for the arena but the plans were scuttled after Barclays Center starchitect Frank Gehry was fired in 2009 and his proposed design was scraped in an attempt to cut costs.

The Barclays Center will be the smallest arena in the NHL, holding about 14,500 spectators in a horseshoe configuration. Designers hope to figure out a way to squeeze in at least 500 more people, which would get it nearly even with the 15,004-seat MTS Center in Winnipeg, Canada, home of the Jets. Most NHL hockey arenas hold 15,000–20,000 fans. The biggest, in Montreal, Canada, holds 21,273. Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, home of the Islanders rival Ranger, holds 18,200, and the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey holds 17,625.

But NHL officials don’t thing the small capacity will affect the team’s success.

“It’s not an issue,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.“Winnipeg is doing well.”

The Islanders had been scheduled to play a preseason game at the arena, but it was canceled —along with the rest of the NHL’s preseason games — due to a lockout by ownership over the league’s collective bargaining agreement with its players.

The team will replace the Brooklyn Aviators, a minor league hockey team that played its home games at the Aviator Sports Complex in Floyd Bennett Field that folding after last season, as Brooklyn’s lone professional hockey team.

Ratner said the arrival of the Islanders will not speed up the much-delayed plan to build controversial housing towers in his beleaguered Atlantic Yards mega-development.

Brooklyn Islander fans we spoke to were ecstatic to hear the team will move to within walking distance of their homes.

“It’s great for Brooklyn and great to keep the rivalry here for the Rangers,” said Park Slope resident Gregory Wortham.

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Reader Feedback

John from Flatbush says:
Hip, hip, hooray! This is great news for Brooklyn sports fans!
Oct. 24, 2012, 11:39 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
Wow, Christmas came early this year!! The Islanders have been stockpiling high draft picks for the last few years, and will be loaded with young talent in 2015 when they get to Brooklyn, with new found ability and funds to attract top talent. Welcome to your new home Islanders!
Oct. 24, 2012, 12:13 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
Aside from the un-Consitutional taking of land and misrepresentation of fact, intent, jobs, and environmental impact to the public from the developer and NY government officials, Barclays Bank paid a record £290 million fine for manipulating the banking system interest rates (Libor), forcing the resignation of its chief executive officer Bob Diamond (2012). I know most people don't know what this means, but basically, participation at the Barclay's stadium stands on the shoulders of corruption and greed. Sad to see so many of my fellow Americans willing to look the other way on issues of freedom and Democracy just for better entertainment. Enjoy the show!
Oct. 24, 2012, 1:04 pm
Jbob from PS says:
Thanks Charles! Go Islanders!
Oct. 24, 2012, 1:13 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Because this was incredibly predictable, designing the Barclays Center so it couldn't hold many hockey seats looks even dumber now.

But I'd rather have the Aviators back than the Islanders. I can't really think of a more despicable organization in all of sportsdom.
Oct. 24, 2012, 1:39 pm
John from Flatbush says:
Charles, what a buzz-kill you are! What does the LIBOR scandal--and yes I understand it--have to do with hockey in Brooklyn? For heaven's sake Barclays just bought naming rights. There are plenty of companies that I don't like which bought naming rights to venues around the country. If you don't like Barclays don't bank there. As for "freedom and democracy," the decisons about this stadium were made by elected representatives of we the people. If you don't like those decisions, vote for the other guys.

No matter what side you were on in the stadium fight, that fight is now over. The stadium is built. Its time to move on.
Oct. 24, 2012, 1:40 pm
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
Only one thing left to say,

"Let's Go Islanders!"
Oct. 24, 2012, 1:57 pm
Joey Gem from NJ says:
Congratulations Brooklyn, you are getting New York's best hockey team. Since 1980, the Islanders have won 4 stanley cups. That number is equal to what the 2 other metro teams have won over the same period. We're stacked with young talent. The future is bright in Brooklyn.
Oct. 24, 2012, 2:07 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
John, if you have been living under a rock all these years, and you probably sound like it, this whole arena was brought up by illegal acts such as eminent domain abuse and corporate welfare. Then again, to people like you, the end justifies the means, because as long as you got your arena, you couldn't care less what lead to it even if it involves murder. I take it you wouldn't mind subsidizing even more to bring the Islanders there. The reason Charles brought that up was because they head of Barclays Bank is being on trial for committing such crimes. The same goes for Proky and Ratner with their shady backgrounds, but I know you and other supporters will try to look the other way and ignore it entirely. As for the Islanders themselves, just like the Nets, I doubt moving to this arena will change them in any way or form, and will be seen more as just putting lipstick on a pig, because no matter how try to change its looks, it's still a pig in the end. To explain this to the simpletons, they will most likely still do bad no matter where they play as long as they continue to play that way, so the new arena will mean absolutely nothing unless they play better themselves, and the same goes for the Nets.
Oct. 24, 2012, 3:23 pm
Liz from Ph says:
No one cares about your rants Tal and Charles. You sound as crazy as Norman Oder.

GO ISLANDERS!!!

A GREAT DAY FOR BROOKLYN!!!
Oct. 24, 2012, 5:03 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
If only Prospect Park got funded like this for profit arena.
Oct. 24, 2012, 5:07 pm
Yan from FtG says:
Why are you comparing a public park with a multi-million dollar endowment to a private arena?

It makes no sense whatsoever.

The only way Prospect Park could be profitable is to charge admission. Is that what you want?
Oct. 24, 2012, 5:13 pm
JBOB from PS says:
Maybe Tal and Charles can lobby some shady Brooklyn financial billionaire to donate to Prospect Park like the one that just gave 100 million to Central Park.
Oct. 24, 2012, 5:41 pm
Eddie from Park Slope says:
Welcome to the NHL's smallest venue with the Most obstructed seats.... I live on Dean Bet. 3rd and 4th, Am I the only one who thinks the Traffic congestion after Any Event just out of Control!?!
Oct. 24, 2012, 6:51 pm
Pepes from Court. Street says:
Hooray for. BROOKLYN the best thing to happen to Brooklyn Who ever is opposed is not from Brooklyn born and bred lets go Nets and Islanders
Oct. 24, 2012, 7:32 pm
Judahspechal from Bedstuy says:
Welcome to Bk, more dates more jobs!
Oct. 24, 2012, 8:36 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Liz, believe or not, more find what Oder says to be very intellectual and more believing that what most of the media had to say about the AY. Unlike them, he gives what most will never talk about, especially the EB-5 Program that almost goes unmentioned. Please don't tell me that this will bring jobs to the community, because for the most part, they will just be relocated employees who working where the Islanders are now playing, and the same thing will be for the Nets, which is NOT helping the community at all. As for Pepes, don't give me that nonsense when I have seen many long time Brooklynites opposing this. Therefore, anyone who supports this and even tries to deny what really happened is probably connected with Forest City Ratner is some way or form, which is usually the case.
Oct. 24, 2012, 10:03 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
Brooklyn!!!! **ignores Tal's rant and enjoys moment**
Oct. 24, 2012, 10:51 pm
Resident from PPW says:
Charles/Tai,

Wow, you sure know how to put a damper on good news. I have a feeling you go around telling children that there is no Santa Claus or Easter bunny for fun.

I want to welcome the Islanders to Brooklyn. And I am looking forward to seeing the Brooklyn Nets play.
Oct. 25, 2012, 5:25 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
@ Yan from FtG

I am saying that the government is doing more to make Ratner build his arena that if gives to the Parks Dept.
Oct. 25, 2012, 5:39 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I take it that a lot of you love eminent domain abuse and corporate welfare especially when it can bring you something that you like. When it was put to a vote by Nassau County about a year ago to give funds to help Wang with the surrounding area, many voted against it. However, it wasn't really because they didn't want the Islanders to stay, it was really because many felt that their tax dollars should be used to help with the public rather than help make a rich man richer. I betcha if Bloomberg gave referendums for having new places for the Jets, Mets, Yankees, or even Nets, they would be voted down in huge numbers, because most feel that the owners should pay for them rather than having them foot the bill. That explains the same reason why he didn't allow for a referendum to allow a vote by the people on letting him run for a third term. I wouldn't be surprised if Wang chose the Barclays Center because he knows that he will get a lot of subsidies for this, not because it is prestigious, which is the same reason why a business from Times Square chose MTC over in downtown Brooklyn for the same reason of having subsidized rent. On a side note, my comment saying something similar to this on the NY Times was given a NYT Pick, which shows that they liked it over there.
Oct. 25, 2012, 4:28 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
And now Nassau is about to lose many many jobs because of this move. But that's the democratic process. The Nassau arena project went up for a vote and lost. Under a separate representative democratic process, Barclays was approved and is revitalizing Brooklyn, turning a formerly blighted site into a central borough entertainment hub. I couldn't be happier.
Oct. 25, 2012, 5:42 pm
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
Not to mention that Wang's original plan was to build a completely privately financed arena, but public officials in Hempsted stopped those plans.
Oct. 25, 2012, 5:59 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Wang wanted his project to be built by taxpayer dollars. Seriously, if it meant so much, then why didn't he give the money himself or look for private investors to help him? The same thing was with Ratner. It's obvious that neither of them would be able to build it all without taxpayer dollars. At least Dolan is doing a renovation over at MSG with money out of his own wallet. Please stop saying that before that arena was built it was blighted, because I know a lot of people who live there that tend to say otherwise. On a side note, it's all fun and games until a developer comes for your property.
Oct. 25, 2012, 6:53 pm
To Tal says:
You don't live in Brooklyn. You are a fool. Get off this board.
Oct. 25, 2012, 9:22 pm
Jack from Park slope says:
This is one of those rare occasions when Tal is absolutely right. Atlantic Yards has been a huge tax subsidized boondoggle. The arena is nice and having the Nets is great, but the public has been ripped off to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, and little, if any, of the affordable housing that was trumpeted to justify the give-aways will ever be built.
Oct. 25, 2012, 9:28 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
I have to agree with Tal too. But I still think he should shut up and go away.
Oct. 25, 2012, 9:40 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
For those who don't know, this project is being subsidized by the entire state of NY, not just Brooklyn or NYC. In other words, I do have a right to express what I feel about this, because it's my tax dollars being used as well. The same goes for someone living all the by the border with Canada despite not living anywhere near it. Keep in mind that Ratner bypassed ULURP, a city process, in favor of SEQRA, a state process, to get it done, and that area was never rezoned. The truth is that the rest of the project may never even get built with the rest of the footprint being left as parking lots for years to come. As of now, the opposition is now holding Ratner accountable for the many of the promises he made, which is something he has a bad record on.
Oct. 25, 2012, 9:57 pm
Abram from MetroTech says:
I don't think people like Tal or Charles accept that most folks simply don't agree with their viewpoint(these are all re-hashed Develop Don't Destroy talking points). Left up to certain people, there would be no Mets, Nets, Yankees, Rangers, Islanders; they simply don't see any value in pro sports teams.
I used to live at 4th and Dean, and when the Daily News closed down the plant, I didn't see many people fighting for development of the area (including anti-arena Mike Lupica).
What I'm curious about is the Pracrtice Arena The Islanders announced they would need and eventually build...where is that going to be? That's possibly an opportunity for something the high schools could use.
Oct. 25, 2012, 10:26 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Tal

Nobody is denying your right to an opinion, but even when I agree with you I find it misinformed.
Oct. 26, 2012, 6:49 am
Prospect Heights Resident from Prospect Heights says:
Tal,

Not true. The final arena plan to be rejected called for public financing, but there was an earlier plan put forward by Wang that called for private financing. This plan was also rejected.

But let's get serious. Much like NYC bankrolls much of NYS in general, it is largely NYC taxpayers who will have to pay for this project. I don't know why someone from Pleasantville is causing such a stir on this site.
Oct. 26, 2012, 2:26 pm
JudahSpechal from BedStuy says:
Abram good call hope the Nets & Islander's build their Practice facilities in Bk. Just read about An Ice Palace that used to be at Atlantic & Bedford, now a parking lot.Or Develop Armory at Bedord Eatern Pwy
Oct. 26, 2012, 2:48 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Abram, seeing where you are from, you probably do work for FCR. BTW, I don't represent DDDB in any way or form, I actually represent myself, and you wouldn't like it if I said that you were same same talking points FCR makes, so now you know how I feel. Again, the reason why the idea of funding where the Islanders are currently playing was rejected was because they felt that their tax dollars should go somewhere more important such as serving the public rather than making a rich man richer. Nobody does oppose new places for their teams, they just believe that it's better that the owners pay for them with their own money rather than theirs'. If the others were brought up to a vote, you would see how many don't like corporate welfare. Don't bring up the Newswalk Condos, because they got converted into what they are now rather than being taken down as with the rest of the area that included the Spalding Building and the Ward's Bakery, which are now all gone thanks to your friend Ratner, so this is apples and oranges. Those that got pushed out were those that chose to help the neighborhood when nobody else wanted to. As for Prospect Heights Resident, the ESDC is a state agency, not a city agency, and they were the ones who helped Ratner bypass city zoning laws to help him get his way, so yes, I am paying for this just as much as you are.
Oct. 26, 2012, 2:50 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
How about they build a practice facility on where you guys live, and then we will see how you guys feel when you are living in the path of the wrecking ball, especially when you were apathetic to those living where the arena is now as well as the rest of the complex that may never come.
Oct. 26, 2012, 3:23 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I have no doubt my relatives and friends in Brooklyn will stand by the Nets and Islanders as they move forward at the Barclays Center. Having pro sports in Brooklyn again is worthy of great celebration. Having rooted for the Knicks and Rangers for so many years, I'm torn about whether or not to shift my loyalty to the Nets and Islanders now. I could use some friendly advice from my fellow sports fans.
Oct. 26, 2012, 4:59 pm
Dave "Big Dog" from Canarsie says:
What has James Dolan done for you lately? He busted up a young team to sign a ball hogger and a guy with a brittle back and tenders knees. The Knicks went from young to old really quick and with no chance against the Lakers or Heat (unless, of course, Carmelo learns how to move the ball around and Stoudemire stays healthy.) I say come to Barclays and bring some Hasidic Jews with you. We'll all have a good time and help them forget about the Palestinians.
Oct. 26, 2012, 5:05 pm
Nikita from Canarsie says:
Russian lady need real man. Wriet to me. nikita476@hotmail.com
Oct. 26, 2012, 5:07 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Most fans will never convert even with the Nets and Islanders in Brooklyn, and I am just talking about Brooklyn alone here. Does anyone really think that a bunch of long time Knicks and Rangers fans just switch sides just like that? Last time I checked, nobody will just jump ship on their teams just because they had a loosing season or several. Are you guys trying to tell me that you are all just on a bandwagon and just root for whoever is doing better? If any do switch sides, they will be a small number, while the rest will remain loyal. As long as the team continues to do bad, they will continue to be the same no matter what. Pretty much, if they weren't rooting for them, they aren't rooting for them now. It wasn't as if Brooklyn was rooting for the Nets when the made the NBA Finals not that long ago, so I doubt they are for them now.
Oct. 26, 2012, 7:18 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal --
Have you been to Brooklyn in, say, the last 3 months?! Jesus H. Christmas.

The sheer number of people filling the streets in Brooklyn Nets t-shirts and hats might give you a clue about how ignorant you are... but then again, why would reality change you view? It hasn't yet.

Perhaps you should write Nikita above. I think she's perfect for you.
Oct. 26, 2012, 7:33 pm
ty from pps says:
Oh. And I've heard they are going to build the Islanders practice facility in Pleasantville.
Oct. 26, 2012, 7:34 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Anyone can buy merchandise, but that doesn't always make them fans. Some just do it for style. Once the teams start doing bad, they will start losing interest in them. Although I am not a fan of the Knicks or Rangers, I can tell you that they still have loyal fans despite their bad seasons in the past. Even the Devils are above the Islanders. That team hasn't even made a playoff appearance since 2007 let alone hasn't won a playoff series since 1993, which was before introducing the conference quarterfinals. It's easy to think a lot about teams before the season, but the real test is the season itself, so until then, they will be seen as nothing but talk, and Tyson Chandler was right about that when he responded to Joe Johnson. Just because they have a new arena doesn't mean that they will do any better.
Oct. 26, 2012, 9:14 pm
ty from pps says:
Well, I hope they have a good season because this will be their last. I heard that you finally convinced everyone and they'll be knocking down the arena next summer.
Oct. 26, 2012, 9:29 pm
ty from pps says:
By the way, Tal... the fact that you use the phrase "even the Devils are above the Islanders" tell ms you know nothing about hockey. And, surprise surprise, you're talking out of your ignorant butt again.

I'm a Bruins fan -- but I know that the New Jersey Devils are pretty damn great team. They're record over the last 20 years is better than the Rangers and the Bruins (in terms of 'championship' trophies) Hardly "even the Devils are better" --

You're such a schmuck.
Oct. 26, 2012, 9:42 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, bottom line, moving to a new place is not a magic bullet for a team let alone the surrounding area, and this has been proven false countless times by Niel de Mause, who is the author of the famous book, Field of Schemes. I suggest you read that book or look at his blog. Also, many of these sports facilities are found to be net money losers especially according to the Independent Budget Office, and they are a neutral party. The whole claim that this will bring tax revenues is so bogus that it will be miniscule at best if any are there. In the end, you can call me ignorant all you want, but I will have the last laugh here, because I know how it will end up, which is why I wanted to stop the arena before it got built to avoid the problems it would bring, and just bringing more traffic to the borough's already busiest intersection alone was a reason to fight that. Seriously, if that was a reason not to have a stadium for the Dodgers then, why put an arena for the Nets and now the Islanders there? Were times different then compared to now? Please don't tell me that most will use mass transit when that's hardly the case for just about all other teams that play either in or around NYC when they to have that option, but many still choose to drive instead despite especially with the time of the many of the games ending so late that much of it is so sporadic that driving becomes a better option or when others are coming from places when driving is the only efficient way of getting there faster. At least many of the stadiums and arenas are near highways so that traffic remains residual unlike this one where traffic can be stuck for about 20 blocks to either part of BQE.
Oct. 27, 2012, 6:14 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- You're wrong. Short-sighted. Narrow-minded...

That said, this was probably your most lucid comment in months! What has changed? Amber colored bottles?
Oct. 27, 2012, 10:36 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
When Ratner doesn't keep his promise after you believed him, don't come crying to me, because you were warned about it.
Oct. 28, 2012, 1:26 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Don't worry, Tal. Nobody in Brooklyn is ever gonna come crying to you.

NEVER
Oct. 28, 2012, 8:09 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Saying that you all had Ratner's word was lie then for his previous projects such as MTC, it's a lie right now for the AY, and you all fall for it by taking his humble pie and kool-aide that he keeps on giving you, because he knows that you want more.
Oct. 28, 2012, 9:30 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, I demand that you retract that personal attack as I consider it a hit way below the belt and the mark of a coward. This constant hamasing from you and Ty has got to stop or I warn you of potential legal action. Irreguaurdlessly, all you streetsblogger zealouts are thinking this is a panacea for the woes of the Islanders when they have a record that is worse than any team in the WNBA. This arena is more like same can different lable. Nothing is going to change except the wrapping and the owners of the team might clean up while the diehard fans in Flushing will now have to drive that much father, escpecially since all drives now take longer on account of all the vehicular lanes being given over to bikelanes. Then when they actually do get to the arena, they have to fork over 50 dollars for arugula and pesto b/c somebody decided that hotdogs and fried chicken were too unhealthy. Don't respond to my facts if you are merely are going to attack me personally. No matter how much I debunk the undebunkables, haters are going to hate. Just like Israel and Mahmoud Ahmadinajad.
Oct. 31, 2012, 8:58 am
Other Michel from Park Slope says:
Really?
Nov. 12, 2012, 2:27 pm

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