Nassau Coliseum, New York Islanders
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the New York Islanders are coming home to Nassau Coliseum. Sort of.

The New York Islanders are paying a visit to their old stomping grounds before moving on to Belmont, starting next season.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Islanders had reached a deal with and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, the company that runs both Barclays Center and the Nassau Coliseum to play 12 games at the renovated old barn.

Under the deal, the Islanders will play 60 games — preseason included — over the next three seasons at the Coliseum.


Starting with 12 regular-season games in 2018-19, the deal is structured to include another 48 games from the preseason of 2019-20 and beyond

There are still numerous modifications that must be made, however. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was a staunch opposer to the initial thought of a Coliseum-Islanders reunion, and offered this when asked according to Newsday‘s Jim Baumbach:

“The locker rooms, the training facilities and the like, that’s something we’re in touch with the Islanders on,” Bettman said Saturday in Tampa. “The Nassau Coliseum has been given a nice refresh in terms of the way it looks, but it’s still the Nassau Coliseum. So, anything that may or may not take place there certainly would have to be on a temporary basis.”

New York Islanders

Nassau Coliseum will have a seating capacity of 13,900 for NHL hockey. While that may seem low, keep in mind the Islanders are averaging just under 13,000 people at the Barclays Center this season, a trend that’s continuing since the beginning of the 2015-16 season.

One of the larger modifications that still have to be made to the Coliseum is the inclusion of suites, the main source of revenue to make this entire venture as profitable as possible.

Of course, this all comes from the result of what the Islanders have planned in regards to Belmont Park.

With Belmont confirmed to be starting a three-year construction period, this looks like the deal that will be in place for the Islanders going forward.

So, this also answers what to expect tomorrow as well — an opt-out of the current deal signed by former Islander owner Charles Wang. Both the Barclays Center and the New York Islanders are expected to opt-out of their current deal and sign a new, temporary lease that will ensure the club has a home in Brooklyn (or Nassau) until the start of the 2021-22 season.

For longtime Islanders fans, this is a dream come true. Captain John Tavares was excited for the fans on the Islanders return to their first home, according to Mark Herrmann of Newsday:

“The Coliseum is a special place. We had an exhibition game there this year and it brought back a lot of great memories. For me, it’s where I started my career, it’s where so many great things have happened. I really haven’t thought about it a whole lot. But I’ve always said the team belongs on Long Island. It’s where the team was born, created its identity . . . If that’s the case, it’s going to be a great opportunity, a great experience to go back there and to relive — and create some more — great history.”

This move should surely help convince Tavares to re-up with the Islanders at season’s end, bringing an answer to a question that was looming over the Islanders through the entire season.

With the Islanders longterm plans ironed out on paper, the team should turn its full attention to the task at hand: A lengthy playoff run in the 2017-18 season.

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