Plans for the New York Islanders arena in Belmont have apparently leaked. They look good. But if we’re honest all we care about is what’s on the inside.
If you logged onto twitter today you probably saw some drawing or renderings for the New York Islanders arena at Belmont Park. It obviously unconfirmed by the team, and will likely remain so, but the arena certainly looks nice. For whatever that’s worth.
Look the Barclays Center looks nice. When I first say it I was impressed by it. As I’m sure most of you were. Walking up to the front turnstiles with that big roof and swooping video board made it look futuristic and stylish. The Islanders finally had a nice new arena to call home.
But I knew what was waiting on the inside. I, much like you, read all the reviews of the islanders new arena and the terrible sight lines, obstructed views and off-centered score board. Or how about the lack of any signs that the Islanders actually played there.
What’s On The Inside
Improvements have been made since that inaugural season. Banners were raised and all-in-all the atmosphere on game day has felt less like a road game and more like home.
And that’s what’s going to matter in the next arena. No matter what they built would look OK on the outside, unless it was in the shape of the fisherman. And even then hipster logic might prevail where it might so bad it’s actually good.
What goes on the inside is what’s going to matter. Things like the sightlines. Making sure that everyone that buys a ticket gets to see the entire game. Or making sure that the ice is not just middle of the pack, but top of the league. If there’s one thing that John Ledecky has preached since becoming co-owner it’s the commitment to excellence.
It’s what’s inside that counts. What Ledecky and Malkin found in their fact-finding mission of arena’s around the league will matter. What’s on the outside won’t matter as much.
Except for maybe the parking situation. Belmont is already connected to the LIRR, although it’s use is seasonal, a number of fans will likely continue to use public transportation. But a greater number would love nothing more than to rekindle the tradition of driving to and from the game like they used to do at the Nassau-Coliseum.
According to these leaked plans it seems that 2,000 spaces will be made available, much lower than what’s available at the Nassau Coliseum, but much more than what is currently offered at the Barclays Center. The emphasis is clearly on public transport, but the option to drive still exists. It doesn’t at the Barclays.
The new arena – assuming the New York Islanders actually win the Belmont bid – will look great on the outside. There’s no doubt. But it’s what’s on the inside that’s going to matter the most