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New York Islanders Moving to Brooklyn

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

When their lease expires, the Islanders will be moving off the island and into the city.

New York Islanders Moving to Brooklyn

The NHL lockout is still dominating the hockey sphere of news, with regular season games canceled through the start of November.  But another piece of bombshell hockey news dropped this morning when it was announced the New York Islanders are planning a move to Brooklyn.  Via SI.com:

The NHL's New York Islanders have agreed to move to Brooklyn's Barclays Center from Long Island as early as 2015, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The person was not authorized to discuss the situation before an afternoon announcement and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity. Islanders owner Charles Wang and developer Bruce Ratner were among those scheduled to be at the news conference.

Officials in neighboring Nassau County, N.Y., have struggled for years to come up with a plan to either renovate or build a new arena to replace the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which opened in 1972. That same year, the Islanders joined the National Hockey League.

First the Nets, now the Islanders?  Brooklyn will have all of your sports teams.  This is a move that many people saw coming based on the state of the Nassau Coliseum and the franchise in general.  When the lease ends in 2014, the move will take place.  The Barclays Center wasn't initially built for hockey, and as constructed, it will only be able to seat 14,500 fans (making it the smallest NHL arena).  

According to that last link, they also are apparently going to be keeping the name "Islanders" once they make the move.  This confuses me and strikes me as highly unimaginative.  The Los Angeles Lakers kept their moniker when they left Minneapolis, the city where Lakers makes sense.  The Jazz did the same thing when they moved from New Orleans to Utah.  The Nets decided to keep their same name when they moved to Brooklyn.  That's just boring to me.  How does Brooklyn Islanders even make sense unless you're playing on Coney Island?  Teams miss a golden rebranding opportunity with decisions like this.

That aside, this is an exciting move for New York City.  Brooklyn is now becoming a hub for sports and activities.  Having the Islanders just a quick train ride away from the New York Rangers could help fuel that rivalry further, and the fan base could grow with the move.  How this affects the fans of the team already out on Long Island remains to be seen, but this is probably a move that the franchise had to make eventually, especially with the Coliseum the way it was and no prospects around to build a new arena in Nassau County.

If this lockout ever ends, let CHARGED.fm get you tickets to see your favorite NHL teams.


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