The New York Islanders could soon find themselves without a home rink.
On Monday, Bloomberg News reported that Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the team’s current home and home to the NBA’s Nets, would generate more money without the NHL team. The arena is among the top-grossing concert venues across the globe.
The news outlet cites a financial projection that has been presented to potential investors, showing that the Islanders will not be contributing any revenue beyond 2018-19. The report speculates that’s “a clear signal that the team won’t play there.”
The Islanders are currently playing their second season in Brooklyn after shutting down the historic Nassau Coliseum in April 2015, but their short tenure at Barclays has been far from conflict-free.
In addition to complaints of poor ice conditions, low attendance and even view-obstructed seating, there have also been several reports circulating that the team and the venue have been looking to part ways.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman spoke about the state of the franchise during his All-Star weekend press conference, (which was held prior to Bloomberg’s report surfacing).
“The owners are committed to the franchise, they’re committed to New York and the great fan base that has followed the Islanders,” said Bettman. “There are some issues about playing in Barclay, it may be fundamental as to the ice system and that’s not something that can be fixed in the short term. I think as is prudent Scott Malkin and John Ledecky are reviewing the situation and looking seriously at what their options are.”
Bloomberg contacted a spokesman for Islanders owners Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin, as well as Tim Leiweke, co-founder of Oak View Group, which advises the hockey team in talks with the arena, but all declined to comment.