UBS Arena has been a massive win for the New York Islanders for a number of reasons. Mainly, it's a new modern home on Long Island that settles the debate on where the Isles will play their home games for the foreseeable future.
But there's another bonus that we haven't yet talked about much. Attendance. With the much larger UBS arena, the Isles can pack in a few more thousand fans into their new arena. Of course, can and do are two different questions.
New York Islanders have healthy attendance for first time in a long time
It's still very early in the year and into the Islanders home game schedule, but the early results are very good when it comes to the Isles attendance rate.
Through four home games so far, the Islanders rank 12th in average attendance in the NHL with an average crowd of 17,255 according to ESPN. It's also a 100.8% fill rate. Of course, there's momentum on their side with the arena finally opening after years of simply talking about it.
But consider where the Islanders have been in terms of attendance over the last two seasons (when fans could attend games):
2018-19: 31st with 12,442 AVG & 78.9% fill
2019-20: 30th with 12,810 AVG & 81.3% fil)
Remember those are the two first years under Barry Trotz when the Islanders were winning and still the Islanders couldn't fill the smaller old barn for more than 82%. Now, they've consistently sold out the new barn and rank in the top half in the NHL for attendance.
"If you build it they will come", right? That's what we're seeing with the early attendance results for the previously attendance-challenged Islanders. Those extra 4,000-5,000 fans - per game - mean a lot of extra money in the bank for the Islanders (and the NHL of course).
But the main takeaway here is that the team isn't at the bottom of the league for attendance and likely won't be again.