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Barclays Center Developer and CEO Meet With NHL Officials in Manhattan

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Per Katie Strang at Newsday:

“Soon after the defeat of Nassau County’s referendum to build the Islanders a new arena, Brooklyn arose as an attractive option for the team’s relocation. That possibility is now looking more realistic.  A league spokesperson confirmed to Newsday reports that Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner and CEO Brett Yormark met with NHL officials at the league office in Manhattan recently.  The spokesperson declined to discuss the nature of the meeting—an additional league source defined it as “very general and conceptual in nature”—but it is likely that the Islanders’ potential relocation to Brooklyn was a topic of discussion.”

Earlier this month, Yormark indicated through an emailed statement to Newsday that the Barclays Center was a viable option for the team.

more on this story…

TII thoughts:  If the Islanders have to move from Long Island, I think Brooklyn is the best relocation option.  The Barclays Center is going to be a state of the art facility with a seating capacity of 14,500 for hockey.  It is in a great location and adjacent to a subway stop.  But, hopefully they stay on Long Island. 

William Morrison
@TheIsleInformer
The Islanders Informer

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, William Morrison, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

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Technically, Brooklyn is a part of Long Island, but I imagine the sentiment among locals is that the team leaving Nassau County is sort of like relocation.  I don’t like the idea of a major arena in Brooklyn, but since it’s going up, it really does seem like a great opportunity for the Islanders.  Transportation there is so easy, and I could see it only helping in terms of sponsorship money and luxury box revenue.

I’m certainly not opposed to a team relocating to Quebec City, but this is where the Islanders should be playing in a few years.

Posted by nosferatu from Albany, NY on 08/19/11 at 09:17 PM ET

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I know, I guess I should have clarified.  I meant Nassau or Suffolk.  But, geographically, yes, you are correct.

Do you think there is a realistic shot of the Isles playing in Quebec City?  If they do relocate, what other cities do you think are ahead of QC in terms of relocation preference/priority?

Posted by William Morrison on 08/19/11 at 09:41 PM ET

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Barclays as with many of the NBA only arenas was intentionally designed to prevent the NHL (Seattle, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Sacramento, San Antonio, Utah, Charlotte)  Incidently the NHL does not appear object to this intentional restraint of trade action by the NBA. Here is a quote explaining the seating layout for Barclays.

Barclays Center will have an NHL regulation ice floor with the ability to set up for hockey with some restrictions. The arena is being designed principally for the NBA, leaving about 3,500 seats with obstructed views for hockey, according to industry sources. Most of those seats would be located behind the goals and would not be used for hockey. As such, Barclays Center, an 18,000-seat building for basketball, would be reduced to about 14,500 for hockey, sources said. That setup would make it the smallest arena in the NHL behind MTS Centre, home of the new Winnipeg Jets and a building with slightly more than 15,000 seats for hockey.

Posted by timbits on 08/19/11 at 11:34 PM ET

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You know, I don’t think the 14,500 capacity should be a breaking point in this case.  Certainly not ideal, but if it’s a matter of money, all those luxury boxes—which I think have a high probability of being filled with the team in downtown Brooklyn—will easily make up the difference.

In terms of other cities, I guess Kansas City is the other one everyone talks about because of the arena already in place.  The lack of an NBA team there seemingly helps, but I don’t know—I spent a year in that area and I have trouble buying that the NHL would really succeed there.  Hockey is less than an afterthought to sports fans in the city (who haven’t exactly been great supporters of the Royals over the years, at least in terms of ticket-buying, though maybe for good reason).  College sports really rule the landscape.

Posted by nosferatu from Albany, NY on 08/20/11 at 01:37 AM ET

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At 14,500, I don’t think seating capacity is an issue.  It is only 500 less than in Winnipeg.  I think that arena quality and location are much more important.

Posted by William Morrison on 08/20/11 at 11:36 AM ET

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I don’t see hockey succeeding in KC, but I could be wrong.  It seems to be like they are big on the Royals and Chiefs and I see the city only being able to sustain the MLB and NFL markets.  With you living there for a year noseratu, do you agree?

Posted by William Morrison on 08/20/11 at 11:38 AM ET

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Yeah, I totally agree, and the Royals have had trouble drawing fans over the years, probably in large part to a stadium needing renovation (got it) and many, many years of bad baseball.  Imagine if a lousy NHL team moved there.  We’ve seen that or expansion teams make it really hard for new fan bases to grow in new cities, especially non-traditional markets.

Just read about a new feasibility study on non-NHL cities on Puck Daddy: http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Should-NHL-expand-to-Houston-What-about-Honolul?urn=nhl-wp10912#remaining-content

Interesting, but I’m sure the NHL goes much deeper when looking at cities, especially now, after the failure of some of their moves over the past decade or two.

Posted by nosferatu from Albany, NY on 08/20/11 at 03:02 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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