The Islanders Are Heading Home


Photo by Wikimedia Commons

The site of the new Islanders arena.

Ever since the Islanders moved to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the attendance at home games saw a major decrease due to the fanbase’s  lack of interest in dealing with the commute. Fans have steadily grown more disappointed towards their local Long Island team, and this caused the Islanders to realize that the primary issue regarding the decrease in attendance is a result of their out-of-reach location. Coincidentally, and certainly in their favor, a new–and more local–venue had been listed for sale for any company willing to purchase it.

The New York Islanders placed a bid on this plot and planned to build a new arena at this location. On December 20th 2017, the Islanders announced that they won the bid for the plot of land. Governor Andrew Cuomo told Newsday, “The Islanders are back where they belong.” Nassau County and the Islanders have agreed to start the construction process at the end of this season.

It will take at least three years to build the 18,000 seat arena in this new location. The National Hockey League has stated that the arena will be ready in time for the 2021-2022 season.

The Islanders will invest $1 billion in private funds to construct the arena. The arena will be built by the Oak View Group, an arena development company currently funded by Madison Square Garden. Additionally, Sterling Project Development, a popular real estate firm, will be assisting in the construction of the arena. The groups will sign a forty-nine year lease and pay $40 million in rent. The arena will take up 435,000 square feet which will consist of retail space, dining village, and a hotel.

There is just one last question that remains unknown; where will the Islanders play next season? On January 2nd, the National Hockey League told the press they are open to the Islanders playing some games at the Nassau Coliseum and the Barclays Center for the time being, and in fact, on January 29th, the Islanders announced that they signed a sixty-game deal with Nassau Coliseum in which they will play twelve games there next season, and half of their home games in the two seasons following. Islanders fan can finally have something to cheer about as the future remains bright on Long Island.