As the NHL Playoffs approach, Islanders fans should be expecting playoff hockey in April for the second year in a row, hopefully at the Nassau Coliseum. Fortunately for Isles fans, the pair of amazing goaltenders, along with Jack Adams winner Barry Trotz should be a recipe for success, however, while the on-ice product may be fantastic, what is the Islander’s stadium situation like?
During last year’s playoffs, and for games throughout this season, many games were relocated to the Nassau Coliseum rather than the Barclays Center. This change was made for good reason. The electric environment in the Nassau Coliseum helps provide the players with the extra motivation that they need to get over those crucial humps in important games. This environment, unlike the dull, uninspiring one found at the Barclays Center, has proven time and time again to yield great results for the Isles.
Unfortunately, the Islanders continue to play away from the Nassau Coliseum. This could be due to there being more seats at Barclays, as the seating capacity at Barclays is far greater. This lust for money that the owners or the NHL front office may have is an understandable need, although, throughout the playoffs, the main priority should be progressing as deep as one could in the postseason.
The tragic reality for the Islanders is that their attendance record isn’t among the leagues best, rather, it is actually among the bottom throughout the entirety of the NHL. In no way should fans be to blame for poor attendance records, as various factors may result in low attendance.
A key counter-argument fans of the Islanders will use against going to hockey games at Barclays is obstructed. This is due to Barclays Center originally being designed as an arena for the Brooklyn Nets. This obstruction and lack of care for design leads fans to grow resentment against the arena, and in return, will not feel the urge to buy tickets for what they feel isn’t a worthwhile product. It is these conflicting problems of low attendance, higher seat counts, and obstructed views, that create an unfair environment for Islander’s fans to try to support their favourite team.
As the Playoffs approach, those that bleed blue and orange will be screaming in the stands in support of their team. It should be the organization’s goal to create the best environment possible for the casual fans, all the way to passionate, die-hard fans. For this environment to be created, a resolution has to be made for the Nassau Coliseum to be the alpha arena for the playoffs while construction at Belmont Park begins.