Editors Note: For as much initiative as someone who operates from their couch can have, I’ve taken the liberty of trying to bring on board some talented, opinionated and articulate individuals. Thus, meet Tropp. I met Tropp a few summers ago and although he’s only a young pup in the game, we have always had a shared sense of humor and love for our hometown teams but still an eye for the entire landscape of our respective sport. Thankfully, he isn’t a Giants homer; the man came to talk some puck so by God, he’s going to keyboard ninja the shit out of the New York Islanders.
So for my debut blog, I will be highlighting the anomaly that is the New York Islanders. Specifically, how the Isles have been plagued with an arena debacle since the end of the 2012 season. They left–the although dilapidated but fantastic–Nassau Coliseum in the dust and moved to Bruce Ratner’s baby, the Barclays Center. My first reaction was obviously loathing, to be understood by any other Islander fan. There was some thing about the Coliseum that made it home. The smell of dirty water dogs as soon as you walked in and every imaginable surface in the facility, sticky with beer that was probably still there from Billy Joel’s 9 sold out shows. That was truly the beauty of the arena that is across from Nassau Community College. (editors note: HOLLA!)
My first time in the Barclays Center was a pre-season game that was held there against the Devils prior to the Isles move into the arena. As soon as you walked in it was like another planet. A certain feeling of unease because of how dimly lit the entire arena is. To this day I do not understand why they choose to keep it so dark. Genuinely felt as though I just walked into a cavern. So I am going to get to the point…it isn’t a hockey arena. It is so clearly a basketball arena and concert venue. Whether it is the Honda SUV sitting in the corner next to the ice or the overwhelming amount of obstructed view seating.
A couple of weeks ago, the Barclays Center announced that it was “dumping” the Islanders after the 2018-2019 season. I say dumping because that was the actual word used in the titles of some of the articles. A somewhat click-baity article title that makes you think that the Isles were just kicked to the curb, ultimately leaving the reader to find out that they were no longer going to be playing at the arena after their lease is up. Well that is how leases work, pretty commonsensical. Since then there has been no more information given…until today:
A supergroup of New York sports executives, including owners of the New York Rangers and the New York Mets, is lining up to invest in a new arena just outside of Queens for the National Hockey League’s Islanders, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The Islanders play at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, though executives there have concluded that it’s no longer worth it to host the hockey team, and the lease can be terminated as early as January.
The new arena proposal is a joint venture between the Islanders, Oak View Group and Sterling Project Development, said the people, who asked to be anonymous because the talks are private. James Dolan’s Madison Square Garden Co., which controls the Rangers, long the Islanders hated rivals, is an investor in Oak View Group, the private equity group run by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff. The Wilpon family, which owns the Mets, controls Sterling Project Development. – Scott Soshnick, Bloomberg
So, arena in Belmont, definitely don’t hate that. Wait wait wait, but who is involved in the proposal…JAMES DOLAN. The man is not only the owner of the Islanders hated rival, but currently Public Enemy #1 in the entire city of New York. Now I understand that he is only an investor in the group that is involved in the proposal, but the fact that his name is even linked to the situation is sickening to me. But, the Wilpon family is also involved, don’t mind that. Unfortunately there is not much more information on this because talks are private, but I am just hoping for the best for my beloved hockey team.
For now let’s just focus on the Isles current 9-game road trip that they have already started off with a win against the Red Wings and the absolute ETHER of the Habs. Oh yeah and the trade deadline is next Wednesday, so let’s hope they make the right moves. There will be more on that in the upcoming couple of days.
P.S.- To you nerds who say the Islanders are moving to Hartford, keep dreaming.