The New York Islanders now own the rights to Belmont Park, but it won’t be built right away. Where will they play in the interim?
On Tuesday, the New York Islanders were awarded a parcel of land at Belmont Park, which will be used to construct a brand-new arena. The news was met with euphoria on social media, as fans delighted in the prospects of a return to Nassau County.
But the new arena is going to take time to build, and the Isles are going to need somewhere to play in the interim. Will it be Barclays? Or Nassau Coliseum? How about a third option, like Madison Square Garden or XL Center?
Well, chances are it won’t be either MSG or XL Center. If the reason for the move is to benefit the fanbase, which can mostly be found in Nassau County, why on earth would the owners further inconvenience their supporters by relocating to Manhattan or Connecticut—even if it’s only on a temporary basis.
Furthermore, Nassau Coliseum has been repeatedly ruled out by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who does “not view Nassau Coliseum as a viable option,” according to Jim Cerny of Sporting News. While the arena has been used for hockey before, it would take too much money and downtime to retrofit. Plus, the Ol’ Barn on Hempstead Turnpike doesn’t have the number of suites that the Barc does, and suites = money.
So realistically speaking, Barclays Center it is. Owner Jon Ledecky recently confirmed that the Isles will stay at Barclays through at least the 2018-19 season, so what’s another one-to-three (or maybe more) seasons?