The New York Islanders spent 43 years in the dank confines of Nassau Coliseum before moving to the gorgeous Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Well, it’s gorgeous if you can actually see the ice from your seat.
As you know, the Islanders and Barclays aren’t exactly on the best terms – it’s not built for hockey and isn’t changing its configuration for hockey – and there’s speculation that the franchise wants to build yet another new arena in the New York metro area near Belmont Park.
The dream of many Islanders fans, of course, would be a return to Nassau, pushing the rest button and pretending that hockey in Brooklyn was a bad dream Jay-Z had after drinking too many Labatt’s one night.
That’s likely not going to happen, but here’s what will happen next preseason: The Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers will play an exhibition game at the Coliseum on Sept. 17, the preseason opener for the Isles.
It will be the first game for the team back in Nassau since Game 6 against the Washington Capitals in April 2015.
Getting the Islanders back in the renovated Coliseum is big news. As the NY Post noted recently, it’s all part of a larger plan:
Developer Bruce Ratner spent $165 million on the renovation of the Coliseum, downsizing it to hold 13,900 for hockey. As part of his pitch to win the development bid, Ratner had promised the county six Islanders games a year for the next decade, and if he doesn’t come through, he could be in line for a monetary penalty. The NHL already confirmed there will be no regular-season games at the Coliseum this season, and the Islanders moving back there full time is close to an impossibility.
Yeah, that’s an important point: This game should not be read as a giant leap back home.
Before we get too hot over this, a gentle reminder that a single preseason game doesn’t mean they’re moving back to the Coliseum any time soon, either temporarily or permanently. Bill Daly said a few weeks ago that a preseason game could happen, but as far as the old barn goes, the commish says the Islanders are still looking at a new, new arena.
But the fact remains: Islanders hockey back at the Nassau Coliseum! And against the Flyers, no less!
Tickets for the game go on sale online at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 29.
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