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UPDATE: Islanders to play in Brooklyn!

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The Islanders are coming to Brooklyn!

Well, for one game, anyway.

Shortly after BrooklynDaily.com reported that Borough President Markowitz wants to put the Barclays Center on ice — and claimed that hockey will indeed be coming to the soon-to-be-opened $1 billion arena — the arena’s management announced that the stickmen will play one game at the soon-to-open events center on Oct. 2.

The New York Islanders will take on the hated New Jersey Devils just days after the arena’s scheduled grand opening that will feature multiple concerts by the rap mogul Jay-Z.

The Barclays Center announcement hinted of professional hockey in the area’s future, even though just one game is scheduled so far for the Nassau County-based team.

“We feel Brooklyn is an untapped hockey market that offers the Islanders with an exciting opportunity to grow its fan base,” Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said.

The news of the game was hinted at by Markowitz during an impromptu preview of his State of the Borough address Saturday at the Bay Ridge Community Council’s annual luncheon.

“It would be great to see some hockey at the arena,” the uncharacte­ristically tight-lipped Beep told us before zipping out of the Bay Ridge Manor on 76th Street, claiming that any official announcements will be made at his annual State of the Borough address tomorrow. “In Brooklyn, there should be an NHL team, no question.”

Markowitz rattled off a number of other attractions coming to the Brooklyn Nets’ new home in its first year, including monster truck races and concerts by stars the Beep “never dreamed would come to Brooklyn to perform” — though he didn’t give any specifics.

He did say that Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus — which folded up its tents and at a summertime spot in Coney Island last year — will perform at the arena .

It’s not the first time professional hockey at the Barclays Center has bee mentioned.

Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner said in September that he was “hoping” that the New York Islanders would move to the Barclays Center — the heart of the controversial Atlantic Yards Project — once the struggling team’s lease at the Nassau Coliseum expires in 2015. His comments were a reversal of his longtime claim that the Prospect Heights arena would be too small to host pro hockey games.

Still, National Hockey League officials seem to be leaning toward keeping the Islanders to our east: earlier this week, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman said that he found it “hard to believe” a deal couldn’t be hammered out to keep the Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum.

Bettman added that any municipality hoping to draw a National Hockey League team shouldn’t get its hopes up. The league makes no promises about giving anyone a franchise, he explained.

“We don’t like to move teams,” Bettman told New York Newsday, a Long Island newspaper.

But such a move is possible. A deal with the National Hockey League requires the Islanders remain on Long Island, which, to the surprise of many, includes Brooklyn at its western tip — making the Barclays Center an attractive option if the Islanders do decide to abandon the Nassau Coliseum.

Hockey was originally intended as one use when starchitect Frank Gehry initially designed the arena, but plans for an ice rink were canceled after Gehry was fired two years ago to cut costs.

As currently designed, the 18,000-seat basketball arena could only fit 14,500 spectators when configured for pro hockey. That would make it the smallest arena in the National Hockey League, but big enough to accommodate the Islanders anemic attendance in Nassau County, which averaged just 11,000 fans per game during its 2010–2011 season.

But hockey wasn’t the only thing on Markowitz’s mind on Saturday. He also trumpeted his desire to bring casino gambling to Coney Island — an idea this paper reported two weeks ago.

“We’re pushing hard for a casino on Coney Island,” he told luncheon attendees. “It would help Coney Island in so many ways.”

Yet the Beep denied some claims that putting a casino in Coney Island would destroy the People’s Playground.

“I’m not planning to make Coney Island into Atlantic City,” he said, recognizing that the “Las Vegas of the East” has problems with crime and poverty.

Governor Cuomo proposed legalizing table gambling in his State of the State address, saying that the Queens Aqueduct racino should be expanded to include the world’s largest convention center, as well as a casino.

But as far as Markowitz is concerned, Coney Island’s amusement area is “a natural” place for a casino — and if Queens is getting one, so should Brooklyn.

“I want to be sure that [Cuomo] knows that a casino should not just be in his home borough,” he said. “If there is going to be a casino in Queens, then there should be one in Brooklyn.”

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Reader Feedback

John from Flatbush says:
Three cheers for the NHL at the Barclays! I'd prefer that to NBA, actually.
Jan. 31, 2012, 9:50 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Since it was always obvious that an arena that hosts a pro basketball team might someday want to host a pro hockey team, I can't believe they couldn't design it to hold more than 14,000 from the start.

If the NHL didn't like to move teams, Quebec and Hartford would still have them. The Islanders moving 2 counties over isn't much of a move. I hope they change the name though. And the team.
Jan. 31, 2012, 10:17 am
Stu from Brooklyn says:
On game days, will Marty get to park his SUV on the sidewalk?
Jan. 31, 2012, 12:48 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Maybe this link can give us some perspective:

http://gothamist.com/2012/01/23/atlantic_yards_not_nearly_as_brookl.php

Interestingly, not covered by Brooklyn Paper--however, Brooklyn Paper was quite enthusiastic in reporting that black union members were unable to secure promised employment from Ratner, because they're not racist or double-standardized at all.
Jan. 31, 2012, 3:54 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
They will never actually locate there, because the arena has actually less than needed capacity for it, so the most they can ever have are exhibition games.
Jan. 31, 2012, 4:24 pm
Friend of Marty Mashugana from Borough Haul says:
Tal and Norm need to go the penalty box
Feb. 1, 2012, 1:09 am
SlopeyJoe from Park Slope says:
Hockey in Brooklyn would be AWESOME! MORE THAN AWESOME!

So true that Brooklyn is an untapped market for Hockey.

I'd go to every game and everyone I know would too!

Welcome, Islanders, I say

(Though we may want to change the name of the team, eventually...)
Feb. 1, 2012, 7:36 am
Kathy from Brooklyn Heights says:
Hockey in Brooklyn WOW. That would be great.

But if the Islanders come to Brooklyn, I'm "outtta" here!
Feb. 1, 2012, 7:50 am
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
I'd love to see the Islanders play in Brooklyn; I agree that I prefer hockey to basketball.
Feb. 1, 2012, 9:22 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
Hockey in Brooklyn would be fantastic. I like basketball too but nobody but the NBA players themselves can afford the tickets ;-) I do agree that if they moved to Brooklyn they should change the name. "Brooklyn Blades?"
Feb. 1, 2012, 9:57 am
InTheSlope from Park slope says:
http://noticingnewyork.blogspot.com/2011/04/question-revisited-how-craftily-close.html

notice pictures that compare a BB court with a hockey rink, not even close.....

another 'clown car' move by our BP Marty.... O'here's a exhibition game.... a game they could play anywhere... another example of pathetic sports fans 'grasping' @ any crumbs that our pols toss out.... if the Islanders are so great then why didn't the new facility get approved by taxpayers?
Feb. 1, 2012, 10:23 am
harriet from brooklyn says:
blecch.
Feb. 1, 2012, 10:25 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
Hooray for hockey. I wonder how good the ice will be for this game.
Feb. 1, 2012, 10:29 am
Gerriet from Carroll Gardens says:
A win win move if we could get them to come here to Brooklyn...more fans, and new arena, a russian billionaire with ice in his veins (got to be better than present ownership). A name change is not needed, we are still on the island. Let's go Islanders!!!!
Just keep Markowitz far far from this deal. He should go on vacation with his wife, just not on the tax payer dime this time. Or maybe he should go ride a bike on PPW so he can lose some weight.
Feb. 1, 2012, 10:40 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
There actually already is hockey in Brooklyn.

http://brooklynaviators.com/view/brooklynaviators

It's pretty fun.
Feb. 1, 2012, 11:08 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
Brooklyn Aviators...only 100 stoplights away!
Feb. 1, 2012, 1:55 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
"Tal and Norm need to go the penalty box"

We won't fit because your friend Marty will be talking up too much space, plus it's already being pushed enough space by Ratner and his cronies for being there on behalf of false promises to the community.
Feb. 1, 2012, 3:53 pm
Brian from Sunset Park says:
The Islanders can still stay in Nassau & play 7 or 8 real games in Brooklyn. Everybody will be happy. Before you say it can't be done, The Brooklyn Dodgers did it, they played a small amount of games in Newark, NJ.
Feb. 1, 2012, 4:01 pm
InTheSlope from Park Slope says:
Tickets for New Jersey Nets game against Detroit Pistons selling for pennies on secondary market.... moving to Brooklyn isn't going to change this.....

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/tickets-jersey-nets-game-detroit-pistons-selling-pennies-secondary-market-article-1.1015351
or
http://tinyurl.com/7xqn2d5
Feb. 1, 2012, 9:20 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
C'mon, Long Island is not remotely the same as Brooklyn. You can't claim the Islanders should play in Brooklyn and still call themselves "The Islanders" and keep a straight face. Yes, Poindexter, Brooklyn is geographically on Long Island, but culturally and historically they are worlds, worlds apart. Brooklyn is Brooklyn and always will be, separate and distinct from even New York City, the Travesty notwithstanding. So give Breukelen its due and let its teams have local, distinct names.
Feb. 2, 2012, 5:14 pm
Gerriet from Carroll Gardens says:
Scott, that would mean the Giants and Jets should be refered to as NJ teams. The Dodgers should have dropped there name due to the fact there are no more trollies to dodge, and they moved. To base your reasoning on a statement "Brookyn is Brooklyn" is not a way to sway someone. You know what they say about opinions? They're like a#$holes, everyone one has got one, and everyone else's stinks.
Playoff push... Let's go Islanders!!!!!
Feb. 2, 2012, 6:15 pm
Gerriet from Carroll Gardens says:
Correction-dropped THEIR name due to the fact there are no more trollies to dodge...
Don't want to argue a point with poor grammer. Sorry grew up on the ISLAND.
Feb. 2, 2012, 6:19 pm
Gerriet from Carroll Gardens says:
correction-dropped THEIR name....
Don't want to argue a point with poor grammar.
Feb. 2, 2012, 6:20 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
InTheSlope, as long as the Nets will playing the same as they are now, nothing will change no matter where they play, and just looking at how the Hornets and Grizzlies are right now is probably a good idea to see how the Nets will end with the same attendance and season records. Even landing star players doesn't always change a team either, and the Knicks have shown that they are the same even with getting Carmello Anthony, so I doubt Dwight Howard can change anything for the Nets as long as they are the same. New arenas and staduims are just not magic bullets. Let's not forget that Brooklyn has been rooting for the Knicks for decades, so I doubt that most will ever convert just because the Nets are there.
Feb. 2, 2012, 11:46 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Gerriet, it's not a knock on Long Island to say that Brooklyn and Long Island are culturally distinct. IF the Islanders moved to Brooklyn, it would behoove them to change their name. But let the Islanders stay in Nassau, and let Brooklyn have its own hockey team. And yes, the Giants and Jets ought to be considered NJ teams. And yes, the Dodgers ought to have changed their name to something more appropriate like the "LA Traffic Jams."

Regionalism, heck, Localism, are what was best about American sport in the Golden Age. You could say, "Our boys are better than their boys" and it meant something. The free-agent system, senseless redefinition of leagues, and willy-nilly team transplants have completely sucked the blood out of professional sports. You mean the Yankees win more because they can out-spend every other franchise in America to get the best players? Whoopety frickin ding dong. Who cares.

So, yes, let major league sports sink down local roots again. Let them choose names appropriate to their locale. Counter the trend toward homogenization. I'd love to raise my kids rooting for the local team. But root for pampered, overpaid schmucks from Cleveland or whereever? Blech.
Feb. 3, 2012, 4:12 pm
InTheSlope from Park Slope says:
@ Scott, "Regionalism, heck, Localism,"

It's a pipe dream that the Nets will have 'local' support.... any Nets fans will ONLY come from outside BROOKLYN & the NABE will NEVER support the Barclays Arena.... ask www.BerlinRosen.com the 'local fans' thinks that just because they'll go to a couple of games a year they're 'in the game'....

Ratner hired BerlinRosen's (@ $500,000), Michael Rabinowitz - an expert coalition-builder, with all of his political & policy experience looking to move an agenda from the grassroots up and found out that Brooklyns 2.5 m residents DO NOT support the Nets or the arena, so the majority of fans will come from outside NY... & too top it off the Ntes now know that the NJ fans are not following the losing Nets to Barclays either....

If Brooklyn supports the Nets why did Ratner spend a half of million dollars for BerlinRosen?

Go ahead call Mr. Rabinowitz.... P: 646.452.5637 or email: rabinowitz@berlinrosen.com and ask for his report & you'll find that is was a complete waste of money....
Feb. 3, 2012, 5:27 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Everytime I hear Marty say that Brooklyn supports it one thousand percent, I don't know whether to laugh or just think he is delusional on that. As a matter of fact, when this was supposed to go under ULURP, it needed the support from the majority of the borough's community boards. It turned out that out of the 39 members, 35 of them were against it, while just 4 wanted it. So much for consensus there. Let's not forget that Marty even wanted to remove the most vocal members that opposed, but decided not to in the end. When Ratner heard that he couldn't do it through ULURP due to high opposition, he used SEQRA instead, because many local councilmembers wouldn't have much of a say. On a side note, Oder recently disproved Yormark on how most existing Nets fan living in NJ will NOT follow the Nets after the move, and don't use some fan site such as Nets Daily to claim otherwise, because such websites can be biased at times, and they don't represent all fans, plus I am sure that not all fans even go there.
Feb. 3, 2012, 8:46 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
That couldn't have been me posting on February 3 b/c I spent the entire day reading about the upcoming WNBA draft at the Pleasantville Librery. I have my suspects who is imposturizing me, so just stop it. Back to the topic. Most of the fans of the NHL are motorists, and since brooklyn only panders to the needs of a few streetsbloggers, I don't see how this could be a good fit. On a dside note, Ratner is only trying to gain personally by eventually getting the borough to build him a brand new Hockey arena with taxpayers money. This will upsell the value of the team, which I am sure he would then sell and/or move to another market like Nashville or Atlanta. Why don't brooklyners support the teams they already have? Anyhow, it makes no sense b/c they are the "Islanders" and Brooklyn is not an island.
Feb. 7, 2012, 3:54 pm
jim says:
Change their name to the Brooklyn Americans
Feb. 13, 2012, 9:40 am
Daquan13 from East Boston, Massachussetts says:
As far as I'M concerned, Jasonshithous, the goddamn Watusi, I Am Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, CGII and all the rest of those bozos can eat sh*t, lick the sh*t off the bottoms of each other's shoes and die!!!

What in the hell were their parents thinking when they had THEM?!! What a waste of sperm THAT was!!!! Inconsiderate moronic bitter *****es!! Those three forums are all just a tantamount to an old-age home!!!!

I'll steal these lines below from Gary Coleman;

Their lousey miserable lives don't matter to me one bit!!!!! They are all in vollatable relationships!!! They can go to hell, the rest of them can go to the same place, walk off a plank or get run over by a bus!!!!! **** them all!!!!!
Feb. 16, 2012, 8:52 am

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