It was announced today that the New York Islanders will play 50% of their home games at the Nassau Coliseum over the next three years. Great, but what does that mean exactly?
Today, it was announced that the New York Islanders would return to Long Island. We wouldn’t have to wait three years until Belmont is built either. As of the 2018-19 season the Islanders will play at the Nassau Coliseum.
For all those longing for the Islanders to get out of Brooklyn and back to Long Island, your dream came true. For those sceptical of any deal the Islanders make, today got more complicated.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement that the Isles will be coming back to Long Island from the redeveloped Nassau Coliseum alongside Brett Yorkmark, John Ledeceky, John Tavares, Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, and Johnny Boychuk. (as well as a few other political elites).
If you made it through the jokes about New York’s state budget, 35-year-old airplanes and stories of Dr. J playing basketball you got to hear that the Islanders will start playing at the Nassau Coliseum effective next season. And that 50% of the approximate 120 home games between now and when Belmont will be built will be played there.
The announcement from the New York Islanders says 12 games in 2018-19 and then 50%, but the governor didn’t actually make that distinction in his speech.
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What that means exactly is still up for debate. Does that include playoff games? Will that be a straight 50/50 split in the schedule with the first half in Brooklyn and the latter half at the Coliseum? Or will the games be all over the place in the schedule?
I hope it isn’t the latter. I can guarantee a few fans won’t look at their tickets and end up and the Barclays when the game is in Nassau. I’d be one of them.
Before the Islanders make the move, the NVMC has to undergo further renovations to accommodate the Islanders. Something Gary Bettman made sure was guaranteed before the Isles played there.
A big worry was the ice surface. Governor Cuomo made sure to state what needed to be done to assure ice quality at the Coliseum. Even though he made it clear he had no idea what that meant. With ice quality a problem throughout the league it was paramount for the NVMC to get it right.
We still don’t know what this new deal represents financially for the New York Islanders. How much of that $50 million a year will they keep over the next three years as they transition to Belmont? We likely won’t find out anytime soon, but for me, that’s the biggest question that needs answering.