One month after a plea to the New York Islanders to return home, it looks like they are coming back to Nassau Coliseum.
According to Newsday‘s Randi Marshall, Governor Andrew Cuomo will announce that all New York Islanders home playoff games in 2020 will be at Nassau Coliseum. But that’s not all. The Isles will play all of their home games during the 2020-21 season at the Coliseum.
This will reconnect the franchise back to its Long Island roots and end the Barclays Center tenure that began in the 2015-16 season.
Since the Islanders left Long Island, relations with Barclays didn’t exactly begin well and didn’t improve much over the years. The arena officials were reportedly exploring alternatives less than two years into the deal.
Details of the deal are not yet clear (and may never be) as far as how this was made possible. The final Islanders game in Brooklyn will take place on March 23 against the Carolina Hurricanes.
When former Islanders’ owner Charles Wang announced the team would call the Barclays Center home on a 25-year contract, it sealed that the Islanders would remain in the New York market long-term. Still, it put some distance between the team and their rabid fans.
In their (first) final season on Long Island, the fanbase turned out for one final season to send off their team to Brooklyn. Their average attendance percentage was 94.8%.
Attendance unsurprisingly struggled in Brooklyn. With the arena so far from the team’s fanbase, attendance percentage shrunk to 86%in the team’s first season. It later dropped to 82% and as low as 75% in the 2017-18 season.
But one last time, the Coliseum will house the Islanders during the transition to their new long-term home in Belmont Park.
A full-time return seemed inevitable back then, and now finally it appears imminent.
What fans, Long Islanders, and Brooklyn all wanted is on the brink of fruition: the Islanders will be back home.