Breaking: Islanders Moving to Brooklyn for 2015-16 SeasonAnalysis October 24, 2012
I think we all knew this was coming, but I probably wasn’t the only one surprised to hear it announced so quickly. From The New York Times:
The New York Islanders, who have played on Long Island since they began play in 1972, will move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, officials with knowledge of the deal said on Wednesday.
The deal was to be officially announced Wednesday afternoon at a news conference at the new arena in Brooklyn with Charles E. Wang, the owner of the Islanders, and Bruce Ratner, the owner of the Barclays Center.
Under the 25-year agreement, which has to be officially approved by the National Hockey League, the Islanders would move to the Barclays for the 2015-16 season.
The Barclays is already home to the Brooklyn Nets basketball team, which moved from New Jersey, and adding a hockey team would represent a major coup for Mr. Ratner. But unlike the Nets, the Islanders would keep New York in their name.
I, for one, chalk this up in the “good news” department. The Islanders badly needed a new arena, and there were always threats of the team leaving for Quebec or Seattle or Toronto as long as that was not in place. But the Barclays center is going to be a great home for Islanders fans for a very long time. As a Devils fan, I’m now much more likely to follow New Jersey on the road while we play our division rivals. This can’t do anything but help a Devils-Islanders rivalry.