Islanders UBS arena oddly ranked worst in NHL for fan experience

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

According to, the New York Islanders rank 29th out of 31 teams in the NHL in terms of "fan experience". And I don't know about you but that seems like a wildly low ranking for the Isles new home in Elmont. At least in my opinion that is.

And I didn't read that in reverse or anything. UBS is in fact the third-worst arena for fan experience in the NHL. When I was there it certainly didn't feel like the third-worst experience in the NHL. So, let's take a second to look at why that is exactly and if that's a fair ranking, or not.

New York Islanders have one of the worst arenas for fan experience?

There are only two NHL arenas with a worse fan experience than the New York Islanders UBS Arena; the Vegas Golden Knights and the New Jersey Devils. Honestly, I'm not reading the list backwards that's truly the three worst hockey arenas.

I've never been to Vegas, but people seem to be enjoying their experience from what I've seen.

Apparently, a number of factors were considered when making this ranking. According to TicketSource, capacity, average ticket price, safety rating, cost of alcohol, cost of hot dogs, and distance to the city center were all considered for this.

Here's how the Isles rank for each of these categories:

Capacity: 29th
Safety rating: 16th (Worst to best ranking)
Ticket Price: 23rd (Highest to lowest)
Alcohol: 21st
Hot dog: 7th (Highest to lowest)
City center: 2nd (Furthest to closest)

I have to add that "win-rate" over the last four years was added. I'm not sure how that's helpful. Also the fact that Wikipedia was used is...something. I can only hear my high school teachers pulling out their hair. Never use Wikipedia as a source. For anything.

Now, let's focus on that last point from the rankings; distance to the city center. The Islanders have the second-longest distance from arena to city center in the NHL at 18.4 miles. Only the Ottawa Senators have a longer distance at 33.8 miles.

That's not necessarily a fair thing to measure now, is it? The "city center" isn't actually where the heart of the Islanders fan base is located. Which is what this is trying to measure. So is it fair to hang the distance from Queens to downtown NYC over them? No. The answer is of course; no.

On that alone I can't imagine this ranking is fair. Or truly reflective of the "experience". The costs of going to the game (outside of a ticket) is high, there's no doubt. But the experience is top quality. They should probably just rename this study as the cost of attending a game rather than the fan experience.