Yesterday was a momentous occasion for the New York Islanders as a franchise, one echoed in statements to the media by team owner Charles Wang, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark, and Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner.
During a guided tour of the Isles’ future home in Brooklyn, media members were given a look behind the curtain at what Barclays Center has to offer when the Islanders finally move in.
The team won’t call Brooklyn home until 2015, but yesterday’s trip to Barclays gave the team a lot to look forward to once the move is made official. After taking the Long Island Railroad from Garden City to Atlantic Terminal, the team spent yesterday morning checking out their beautiful new facility and practicing on the ice for the first time.
The team had two on-ice sessions: Group A skated for an hour at 10:45 a.m. and was comprised of roster regulars like John Tavares, Evgeni Nabokov and Michael Grabner. The team’s prospects took the ice as part of Group B at noon.
All of the comments from the team about Barclays were positive; it’s clear the players are excited to complete the transition from Nassau County to Brooklyn, despite the organization’s history in Nassau County. Matt Moulson and Cal Clutterbuck were impressed with the facility, especially with the locker room, gym and ice surface.
Despite needing some work towards the end of practice—being that it was the first time Barclays had hosted hockey—the ice held up relatively well, according to the players. All that remains to be seen now with regards to the facility is how it looks with 15,813 fans in the seats.
The open house was a strong showcase for Barclays Center, but Sept. 21 when the Islanders host the New Jersey Devils will be its true “full reveal.”
In Case You Missed It
Barclays Center Opens Its Doors to the New York Islanders (Eyes On Isles)
New York Islanders Training Camp Report: Day One (Eyes On Isles)
Barclays Center Capacity for Isles Estimated at 15,813 (Pro Hockey Talk)
Isles Hit the Ice at Barclays Center for the First Time (NY Islanders)
Two Minutes For Tweeting
— Christian Arnold (@CA_NYHockey) September 13, 2013
The train from Garden City to Atlantic Terminal was a sort of mobile press conference, as members of the media were allowed access to Isles players while en route to Brooklyn.
— Rich Dias-Rodrigues© (@RDNHL) September 12, 2013
This shot says it all: the Islanders will be Brooklyn’s team sooner rather than later, even though they still have to fulfill the terms of their current lease at Nassau Coliseum.
— ★ Andy Graziano ™ (@tazman19) September 13, 2013
— Daniel Friedman (@DFriedmanWFAN) September 13, 2013
Dan’s right: this quick video showcases not only the Islanders, but hockey players and their craft in general.
— Matt Stein (@xxstein13xx) September 12, 2013
For the “but the scoreboard will be off-center in Brooklyn” crowd, Matt makes a good point here: Section 329 at the Coliseum is the loudest, most passionate one in the building, and they don’t have sight of the scoreboard today. In Brooklyn, the scoreboard shouldn’t be the focus of the fans either.
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