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Bettman: Brooklyn might not be a viable destination for Islanders

Apr 20, 2012, 8:24 PM EDT

Gary Bettman Getty Images

The New York Islanders don’t want to stay in Nassau Coliseum once their lease ends in 2015. So the question now is: where will they go?

The ideal is for them to stay in Nassau County, but voters said no to a $400 referendum that would have led to a new arena.

There’s been some speculation that the team might head to Brooklyn, but that comes with its own issues. Although the team will play a preseason game in Barclays Center, as we previously reported, the building isn’t ideal for an NHL team because of its small capacity for those games.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman also has some concerns about the team relocating to Brooklyn. His concern is that it would be hard for the Islanders fans in Queens and Long Island to reach games. He also said that the NHL is helping the team explore their options “in the metropolitan area.” Right now, the Islanders leaving New York isn’t being considered.

  1. kitshky - Apr 20, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    How disgusting would it be for the NHL to let a team with the history and rabid fanbase (despite ownerships best efforts to alienate them) like the Islanders to leave a market like Long Island …. and fight against all logic to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix regardless of how much it costs the League and other owners.

    • bloggersarenotjournalists - Apr 20, 2012 at 9:27 PM

      I totally agree that the Isles need to relocate

      They need to relocate Garth Snow and Chuck Wang.
      Once they do that the Islanders fans will be back with winning hockey.

      But ya, it would be sad, Nordiques sound familiar?
      And it wasn’t just people in QC that were all about the Nords, they had a solid fanbase throughout the Maritimes. Many french NB’ers rooted for either the Habs or Nords and Halifax had plenty of Nord fans when their AHL farm team was there.

      And poof .70 Canadian dollar, and they were gone.
      No fight from the NHL like we see with the Coyotes, a guy in Denver had a bunch of cash and the Denver market and NHL loved it and went running.

      Of course Denver should have a team, but the way the Nords left was truly disgusting

      • hojo20 - Apr 21, 2012 at 8:38 PM

        Yeah I want the Islanders to stay. No need to uproot all that history. As a Whalers fan, I know what its’ like to have your team relocate and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone (except in Carolina)

  2. bcisleman - Apr 20, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Here is an interview of Barclay’s owner / developer Bruce Ratner by Isles’ play by play guy Howie Rose. The tone of the interview is clearly that Ratner does not want the team to leave NY. Barclay’s might be a temporary venue while NVMC is extensively renovated, a new arena is built in Uniondale or a new arena is built elsewhere–probably Queens on the old Shea site next to CitiField.

  3. pavelfitzgerald - Apr 20, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    It would be sad to see the Islanders leave the Isle after years of the NHL’s ridiculous fight for Phoenix but it does make perfect sense when you remember that Gary Bettman is the Commissioner

  4. hockeyflow33 - Apr 20, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    It would be nice to see the NHL force the sale of the Islanders. There’s too much history there to let them leave

  5. bleed4philly - Apr 20, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    The Islanders are a great example of what bad ownership can do to a franchise.

  6. tmjm621 - Apr 20, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Although i cant disagree with he ownership comments…it does bother me that people like to take shots at them and make it sound like its easy. It isnt……itd be cool to see them come here to albany hahaha….but ik thats a dream

  7. lesleyvissersfacelift - Apr 21, 2012 at 7:02 AM

    Brooklyn is not viable, but Phoenix is viable. Just like Atlanta was viable. Sure, Gary, you Jackass.

    • jdny - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM

      Brooklyn would be viable if the arena was built with hockey in mind. Wang should have approached Ratner before he ran to the Russian. The original plan may have been salvaged (the Gehry plan) and it would have accommodated hockey. Everyone wins. Transportation for LI’ers would be much easier with LIRR downstairs. The coliseum was inaccessible without a car. Wang was too busy trying to get Lighthouse to work even though the residents and politicians obviously didn’t want it. The fact is the Isles are moving – will it be Suffolk, Brooklyn, Queens or Quebec?

  8. AlohaMrHand - Apr 21, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Gary Bettman should be relocated

  9. arysoh - Apr 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Inaccessible?!?!? The LIRR goes right to Atlantic avenue not to mention changing them to the Brooklyn Islanders would open them up to a larger fan base as Brooklyn has 4 million people in it. Wang is an embarrassment with his handling of Neil Smith and Lafontaine. The Barclay center can hold 15k which is about 3 or 4k less than NVMC but when is the last time the isles had an actual sellout??

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