New York Islanders on the Move
The New York Islanders could be on the move again. At least if you believe reports coming from Bloomberg. This time the Isles could move to Queens, right next to Citi Field, home of the Mets.
According to a report by Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg, the New York Islanders are talking with the ownership of the Mets to move the hockey franchise from it’s current home in Brooklyn to Queens.
Soshnick goes on to state that discussions have been going on for months, though no one would confirm this from either the Islanders or Mets organizations.
The move to the Barclays Center was supposed to usher in a move to modernity. A move to put the Islanders amongst the elite franchises in the league. But, the Barclays was a sore point for the franchise last season.
It’s fair to point that both the Islanders fans, players, and ownership would have disappointed with the experience at the Barclays Center this last season. Blocked views, an off-center score board, bad ice surface, and, more generally, an area that wasn’t built to accommodate hockey, but rather had hockey fit to it’s design.
A move to Queens shouldn’t be put passed the Isles. They certainly have a recent history of moving to a new shiny arena. In fact it’s not the first time the Islanders organization has pursued an arena deal in Queens. Back in 2009, Charles Wang was approached by Queen’s Chamber of Commerce to use Willets Point for the Isles home, the same spot being mentioned by Soshnick.
Wang eventually keep the team in Long Island until 2015 when he moved the Isles to Brooklyn. But a brand new arena, specifically designed for hockey would solve those woes for the once dynastic franchise. What moving arena’s doesn’t do, is help establish a well rooted fan base.
Moving from Long Island, to Brooklyn, and then to Queens in no way enamors the Orange and Blue to the hearts and minds of those within those constituencies.
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This is all speculation, the arena has not been build and no plans have yet to be agreed upon. But the uncertainty that this cast over the franchise will likely plague them for the duration of the offseason. Regardless if this is a good move in the long run. In the short term this pushes efforts back to grow the fanbase.