It was announced on Wednesday that the New York Islander hockey team will join the Brooklyn Nets in Brooklyn beginning in 2015. The Islanders have agreed to play at Barclays for 25 years, 12 years fewer than the Nets’ 37-year agreement. The Islanders’ lease at Nassau Coliseum runs through 2015, but owner Charles Wang may decide to move the team earlier.
In order to accommodate the Islanders, a new hockey locker room will need to be built separate from the Nets’ locker room. This will likely be built under sections 22-26. Construction for this will probably take place during the summer. Additionally, Barclays Center can only hold about 14,500 fans per hockey game right now, which would make it the smallest arena in the NHL. The hockey sightlines are not very good either. Expect a few renovations to add additional hockey seating in the summer, too.
This appears to be a great move for the Islanders. The team has always wanted to stay in New York, but, as both Nets and Knicks fans saw last night, Nassau Coliseum is no longer suitable to host a professional sports team. The Islanders have been trying unsuccessfully for years to build a new arena in Long Island, but this never happened. There had been rumors that the team would move to either Seattle or Kansas City, but they always preferred a new home in New York.
Even though Barclays Center isn’t perfect for the Islanders and hockey, it is still worlds better than Nassau Coliseum. Expect the Nets and Islanders to have a relationship similar to the one the Devils and Nets had last season in Newark. Last season, the Prudential Center was the Devils’ arena with the Nets being a part-time tenant. When the Islanders come to Brooklyn, they will become the part-time tenant and it will still be the Brooklyn Nets’ arena.
The Islanders have also announced that they plan on keeping the New York Islanders name and logo, but expect at least a few tweaks to the logo before the move to Brooklyn.