The Barclays Center is about to have a new tenant. The multi-billion dollar arena, which opened last month is set to host hockey in 2015. The NHL's New York Islanders will be moving to Brooklyn according to a statement released by the team today. The Isles have been attempting to secure a new stadium for years -- Nassau Coliseum was built in 1972 and was expanded once, in 1983 -- but a failed August 2011 vote for a new arena to replace the arena seemingly put the Isles in a position to look elsewhere, with their lease expiring in 2015.
One of the rumored destinations for the Isles was the newly built Barclays Center in Brooklyn. That rumor was confirmed today.
The two sides have come to a 25 year lease agreement, which will begin in 2015, with the Islanders playing their first game in Barclays Center in 2016. The move once again unites the Islanders with the Nets, who both shared the Nassau Coliseum for a short time back in the 70's. Although this time, the two will share a multi-billion dollar, state-of-the-art arena: The Coliseum was built for $32 million dollars (less than $200 million dollars in 2012 money).
"It was our goal from Day 1 to keep the Islanders in the local New York area." Wang said. "We're thrilled to have the opportunity to play in Barclays Center, a first-class arena. This has been a long journey for the Islanders family starting with our loyal fans, sponsors and employees. I want to personally thank them for their patience, loyalty and support. I am excited about today's announcement and I am looking forward to a long and successful future in Brooklyn."
The Nassau Coliseum held 16,500 for hockey, while the Barclays Center only holds 14,500, so new (and old) Islanders fans may be looking at some sort of ticket or concession pricing increase to make up for the lost seats -- although NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman mentioned that discussions surrounding increasing the number of seats have already occurred -- so maybe the ticket increase won't be as severe as feared.
Of course, when 2015 comes around, you may be less than excited about the price you're paying for your upper bowl ticket. Deposits are already being taken for the 2015 season.