After splitting the regular season and the postseason at Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum, one fact is evident for the Islanders.
They need their own arena.
Brett Yorkmak, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum was once quoted by stating that the Islanders are a “rent-a-team” and that they “never embraced Brooklyn.”
The fact that the CEO of your “home” arena is totally against your team playing in his arena is astonishing. How is a team supposed to embrace the area if it is not truly a home arena?
Looking at the last playoff home games, it was evident that the Islanders weren’t playing in an arena that was supposed to support the NHL. Nassau Coliseum only has about 14,000 seats and that was the reason why the second round games were played at the Barclays Center.
Barclays Center wasn’t even built for hockey. Everyone knows about the obstructed seats, the off-center scoreboard, and of course the SUV in the corner.
All of that was old news. The eye-opening thing was that the arena wasn’t even ready for the second round.
The sign that the Islanders were playing playoff hockey wasn’t even put up until a few hours before puck drop.
Yormak wants the team to embrace Brooklyn, but the arena doesn’t even embrace them.
Not to mention, Brett Yormak helicoptered into the Coliseum parking lot before Game 2 against the Penguins. Fans tailgating were interrupted by a helicopter landing near their cars.
This is why the Islanders need Belmont Park to happen. They need an arena designed for their likings. They need to be able to design their own arena for their purposes. Not for basketball. Not for concerts. For hockey. For NHL hockey.
While the Coliseum was rebuilt, it wasn’t meant for the Islanders to return, it was meant for concerts and basketball, hence they took seats away and added suites.
So if the Islanders ever want to have “home ice advantage” ever again, they need to build their own arena.
Belmont Park must be built if this team is to ever be successful.
Just look at the differences between Games 1 and 2 in rounds one and two. They were completely different. There were different levels of intensity between the fans.
Consistency is needed to be successful, and the Isles had to forfeit that consistency that they had when they decided to split the games between Nassau Coliseum and Barclays Center.
The Islanders need Belmont Park.