It’s official, the Hipsters of Williamsburg will have to share their home with an NHL team.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NY Islanders GM Garth Snow made the announcement today during a press conference at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
— NYIslanders (@NYIslanders) October 24, 2012
Here are the top 10 things you need to know about the Islanders taking the Uhaul across the Brooklyn Bridge:
1. They Will Keep the Same Name
The Islanders will keep their name. During the Q and A Owner Charles Wang assured attendees that the Islanders will remain “The New York Islanders.” Not gonna lie, it would have been pretty awesome if they were the “Brooklyn Islanders.”
2. Barclays Center Might Be the NHL’s Smallest Venue
According to Gary Bettman during the Q and A, the stadium will hold around 15,000 seats. The Winnipeg Jets currently play in the smallest stadium in the NHL, an arena that holds 15,004 seats.
3. They Will Move There After the 2015 Season
The current lease on the Nassau Coliseum ends after the 2014-2015 season. At that point the Islanders will move to Brooklyn. The Islanders will reside in the Barclays center for the next 25 years.
4. They Will be Reunited With the Nets
The Nets and the Islanders used to both play in the Coliseum back in the 70s. The Nets moved from Long Island in 1977.
5. There is Still a Lockout
I’m gonna be honest, it was a little weird for Gary Bettman to announce the move during a lockout. Fans are angry (and rightfully so) that Bettman took time out of his day to focus on non-lockout business. During the Q and A Bettman was asked if there was any news on the lockout, he said that there wasn’t and that he expects the league to start canceling games shortly.
6. The Event Was Very Well Attended
Gary Bettman (commisioner), Garth Snow (Islanders GM), Michael Bloomberg (Mayor of NYC), Marty Markowitz (Brooklyn borough president), Bruce Ratner (Barclays center developer) and Brett Yormark (Brooklyn Nets chief executive) were all in attendance. Some speculated that Charles Wang (Islanders owner) was using this event to leverage Nassau county into voting to build a new stadium, that doesn’t appear to be the case based on the impressive guest list assembled for the announcement.
7. The Nassau Coliseum is a Crappy Building
The Nassau Coliseum is a dump and one of the oldest non-renovated sports venues in America. The Islanders move from the Coliseum was bound to happen.
8. The Islanders Moving to Brooklyn was Inevitable
The Islanders and the county of Nassau have been butting heads for a while. There were proposed plans to make a new stadium but the plans were consistently voted down. Every time a new stadium project was voted down there were rumors that the Islanders might move to another city (Kansas City or somewhere in Canada were the front runners). In April Bettman was quoted saying “Barclays, I suppose, on some level, is an option.”
9. This is a Fantastic Move for The Islanders
A new building, a new city and a fresh start, the move to the Barclays center seems to be an optimal situation for Islanders. The team has been struggling to compete as of late and with a lockout threatening to cancel the season, this will give the Islanders a chance at a fresh start. The Islanders are a young team with a ton of potential and a super high ceiling boasting stars like John Tavares and Matt Moulson. We could very well see Lord Stanley’s Cup head to Brooklyn shortly after 2015.
Eitan Levine is a New York city based comic. You can follow him on Twitter @Eitanthegoalie