The New York Islanders had their biggest win since they last hoisted the Stanley Cup. The win occurred off the ice as the Isles won the bid for Belmont. The next step is making the Isles interim home is the Nassau Coliseum.
Every fan of the New York Islanders can breathe a huge sigh of relief. The Isles are coming home to Long Island. New ownership and the state of New York need to do everything they can so their interim home for the 2019-20 season will be the Coliseum.
Interim Period 2019-20
The Islanders ownership group of Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky will opt-out of their agreement with the Barclays Center, in early January. This will make next season (2018-19) the last full year with the Isles playing in Brooklyn.
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The new Belmont arena is expected to be ready for the start of the 2020-21 season. Which means the Isles need to figure out a place to play in the 2019-20 season.
The Islanders and the league need to be smart and put their best foot forward where the Isles play during the interim year of 2019-20.
Why the Coliseum
First and foremost from an Islanders fan perspective having the Isles play the interim-season at the Coliseum is a no-brainer. It’s the Isles former home obviously and it has a ton of sentimental value for the fan base and the franchise.
But putting sentiment aside for commissioner Bettman and the league office, having the Isles play at the Coliseum for one year is the smart long-term business decision.
When it came to recent expansion the league took a big picture view of what would be best for that potential new franchise that became the Vegas Golden Knights. They found that old expansion rules that had a team struggling on the ice it’s first few seasons didn’t make a whole lot of economic sense.
So from a business standpoint, wouldn’t it be more prudent for the Isles to play their home games at the Coliseum, albeit a building that only has a capacity of 13,000? Yes, Brooklyn or even Hartford are full-size NHL arena’s but those buildings don’t make any sense for the Islanders.
We know the Isles are currently last in the NHL in attendance drawing 11,599 at the Barclays Center. Yes, the Coliseum is not an NHL arena in terms of seating but we are talking about one season and those games would be sold out every night, as well as being a hot ticket. Tickets would be going like hot cakes and it could start a big movement of fans buying season tickets at the new arena in Belmont.
Remember back in mid-September the Isles first exhibition game was at the Coliseum on an NFL Sunday afternoon and it was sold out.
Having the Isles play the interim season at the Coliseum would be a big springboard for the franchise and have them off and running from a business perspective heading into Belmont. Shouldn’t that be the number-one factor for the commissioner?