3 ideas to make UBS Arena even better for NY Islanders fans

New York Islanders First Practice At UBS Arena
New York Islanders First Practice At UBS Arena / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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A Team Store on the Upper Level

By any measure, Isles Lab has been a success.

This type of exclusive team store is unique to professional sports in how it creates an experience beyond merchandise. It's not simply a store with the aim to sell the same type of gear a fan would be able to purchase or see anywhere else. Its objective is to be much more than that.

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders - Game Three
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders - Game Three / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

As Forbes wrote in February, Isles Lab has been a cultural success. You can be a fan attending all 41 home games throughout the season and see something new every time you walk through its doors. A very wide range of products is being sold, including fan-inspired items and things that aren't even intended to be sold necessarily. You can still have an engaging experience at the

As great as Isles Lab is, perhaps it's a bit too popular. Fans watching the game on the second level don't have the time to head down to the main concourse and often wait in line to enter the store, leaving little type to peruse. If they do want to purchase something, it will likely come at the expense of not being back in their seats for the start of the next period.

There shouldn't be another Isles Lab, but the organization could explore the development of a modest team store on the second level, even if it is more traditional and less ambitious than the flagship location. There are currently some pop-up merchandise locations you can pass on your way to seats or the bathroom, which is alright for a spontaneous hat or shirt buy, but not much else.

The best time to experience Isles Lab is before or after games, but a second team store on the upper level would allow fans to shop and feel less rushed during intermissions.