Questions surrounding the New York Islanders‘ home continue to swirl, with Newsday reporting that a move back to Long Island could be a possibility.
On Monday, Bloomberg News reported that the Islanders could be leaving Brooklyn’s Barclays Center after financial projections showed the NHL team wouldn’t be contributing any revenue at the venue beyond the 2018-19 season.
Shortly after, Newsday reported that the club could return home to a renovated Nassau Coliseum, where they played for more than four decades.
According to Newsday, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano met with Jonathan Ledecky, who co-owns the Islanders with Scott Malkin, back in November.
“There is a path for the Islanders to return to the new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum where the best sight lines in NHL remain, improved attractive facilities for fans and athletes and room to add seats to accommodate the Islanders,” Mangano, who reportedly also meets regularly with Barclays management, told Newsday. “While the decision remains with the Islanders we believe Long Island fans will make the Islanders successful in the new Coliseum.”
The Islanders signed a 25-year license agreement in 2012 and played their last game at Nassau in April 2015. Over the course of the team’s one and a half seasons in Brooklyn since the move, there have been numerous reports of both sides expressing their desire to part ways amidst complaints of poor ice, low attendance and sections of obstructed-view seating in the arena that was built with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets in mind.
“Remember, it’s a strange relationship that Barclays has with the Islanders,” Sportsnet’s John Shannon said Monday evening, also suggesting that sharing Madison Square Garden with the New York Rangers could be an option. “They basically buy the Islanders to play at their rink. They guarantee them over $50 million to play. That means, between concessions and parking and tickets, they have to bring in $53 million. Well, they’re not bringing in $53 million. It’s an issue.”
The two sides will have the ability to opt out of their contract in January 2018, which would mean the venue and franchise could then part ways following the 2018-19 season.
The Coliseum is currently being renovated and will go from having 16,000 seats to 13,000 for hockey games, though those plans can reportedly be altered to accommodate a 2,000-seat addition. There have also been reports of building a new facility altogether.
Newsday contacted a spokesperson for Barclays Center as well as Nassau, but both declined to comment.