After shuttling between Brooklyn and Uniondale to play their home games, recently, the New York Islanders will once again make the Nassau Coliseum their exclusive home.
It’s been a nightmare for the New York Islanders and their fans since 2015. That’s when Long Island’s team moved to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. At the time, no one could blame the Isles for going. The dilapidated Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum was in poor condition and quickly devolving into a relic.
The fans were fantastic, but the building was not indicative of a major sport-quality facility. So off to Brooklyn they went to share tenancy at the Barclays Center with the Brooklyn Nets. While the venue may be a great home-court for the Nets, it left much to be desired as a hockey venue.
For some reason, hockey didn’t work well there, starting with the ice surface which never seemed to be quite right. The team always felt like second class citizens compared to the Nets in dealing with building management. Finally, New York Islanders fans never took to the venue. Games lacked the energy and passion that was always on display at the Coliseum.
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Leaving Brooklyn, at this time, is the best option for the team, its fans, and the building. The migration back to Long Island started in 2018 as more and more games were scheduled in Nassau County. Last year, the Isles even used the Coliseum for their first-round playoff series. Their bi-arena adventure is now at an end. If there are more games this year they will be in Uniondale, as well as all of next season’s games.
This is a win-win-win situation. The Islanders didn’t like playing there, the fans didn’t care much for the place either and frankly, The Barclays Center didn’t want them. Going back to the Coliseum works for almost everyone. NYI will move to their new home at Belmont Park to start the 2021-22 season and until then, all home games will be played at the Nassau Coliseum.
New York State spent $6M to refurbish the arena and bring it somewhat up to standard. That made The Coliseum acceptable but not desirable to the NHL. Recently, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman said the building was not a major league facility, citing the low seating capacity and lack of luxury boxes.
So now the New York Islanders are back where they belong, on Long Island. Let us know in the comments section below or on social media how you feel about the Isles coming back home.