Think about this; you have a house that is five miles away from your workplace. You live in that house for 300 days out of the year. The other 65 days, you completely move into a house 30 miles away from your workplace, but for no specific reason. Nothing has changed, you just think you will be happier to live in two different houses in the same area over a year. This sounds like the stupidest thing a person could ever do, and it is pretty much exactly what the New York Islanders are doing with splitting time between Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum (I will never call it NYCB Live).
So as you already know, the deal is that the New York Islanders will play 12 games at the Coliseum and 29 games at Barclays Center. Another part of the deal is that half of the Islanders home games will be played at the old(new) barn over the next three seasons. The problem is that it is not normal at all to have two different arenas to play your home games at. Let’s say John Tavares was never on the Islanders and was interested to play for them. Do you think he would sign with a team that plays their home games at two different rinks? It just doesn’t make sense. So here is what the Islanders should have done.
Instead of playing just 12 games at Nassau Coliseum next season, the Islanders should play all home games over the next three seasons at the barn. And it would not be a help just for the fans, it would be a help for Brooklyn Sports Entertainment(BSE). Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum are both owned by BSE, and they have been losing money by having the Islanders play at Barclays over the last three seasons because of attendance. The average attendance this season at Barclays Center for the Islanders is 11,991 which ranks dead last in the NHL. Barclays has only had a handful of sellouts over the years for the Islanders (not including playoffs), and if all games were played at the Coliseum, the building would be sold out for most games. The Coliseum held 13,917 fans for a preseason game earlier this season, which is way above the average attendance at Barclays Center this season. The Coliseum will be given a $6 million upgrade thanks to Governor Cuomo, as required by Gary Bettman to hold games at the barn. This would benefit both arenas affiliated with BSE because it would stop Barclays from losing money while having the Coliseum making money before it becomes a complete ghost town when the Belmont arena is built.
As for the fans, it will be just like old times. No long train rides, just short car rides to the games. The expectation is that the fans will just completely ditch the Barclays Center next season and just go to the Coliseum games. You shouldn’t blame them, but if the fans decide to do so, a majority of the Islanders home games will be played in front of nobody, which would basically change the plan to maybe what was proposed above; to play all home games at the Coliseum. Think about this; when the Islanders are playing at two arenas next season, where are the playoffs going to be? Game 3 in Brooklyn and Game 4 in Nassau is just unfair to the team. The Islanders need to move back to the Coliseum and play all home games there while the Belmont arena is on the way.