As the New York Islanders wait for their new arena at Belmont Park Racetrack to be built, new reports have surfaced saying that the Isles could play around twelve home games next season and even more in the following seasons at the renovated Nassau Coliseum.
According to Jim Baumbach of Newsday and sources, the New York Islanders are expected to play twelve games next season at the NYCB Live’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. After next season the Isles could be playing around half of their home games at the renovated Coliseum while they await construction of their new arena at Belmont Park Racetrack.
The Islanders new arena at Belmont is not expected to be ready for use until the 2021-22 NHL season. The Isles lease at Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn has an opt-out clause that allows them to move out of the arena well before their lease agreement specifies. That opt-out process must be completed by January 30th in order for the New York Islanders to be released from their lease.
If the Islanders can secure the OK from the NHL to play even a percentage of their home games at their former home in Uniondale, it would greatly please the majority of their fans who are from Long Island, who have been schlepping into Brooklyn for the team’s home games over the past few years. It would also make their transition back onto Long Island in 2021-22 a seamless one.
New York Islanders Ill-Fated Stay at Barclays Center Almost Over
It hasn’t been just the fans who have been unhappy with the Barclays Center. The ice-quality of the sheet at Barclays has come under a ton of scrutiny. The New York Islanders haven’t been as vocal as other teams have, but the ice has been a glaring problem since day one in Brooklyn.
The NHL sent representatives to the Nassau Coliseum a few weeks ago in order to see what improvements would need to be made to accommodate an NHL team, even on a temporary, part-time basis. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly has said publicly that the NHL would be open to the New York Islanders playing some regular season games in the Nassau Coliseum, but that the decision would ultimately rest with the team.
Although sources have not confirmed that anything has been finalized, New York Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky has been quoted (WFAN, Jan. 10) as saying he was “confident something would be worked out”. Even if the Isles play half of their home games at the Coliseum from 2019-2021, it would be a huge victory for the Islanders franchise, players, and fans.