Isles and Media Get to Know the Barclays Center

Islander Players on the Daily News Plaza

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

BROOKLYN — The Islanders spent Thursday getting to know their future home and the transportation system their Long Island fanbase will have to utilize once the team relocates in 2015.

Starting in Garden City, the team boarded a Long Island Rail Road train to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The trip took roughly 45 minutes to get to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and many of the players didn’t find it to be that bad.

“We’re just a short train ride in,” Travis Hamonic said while speaking  to reporters on the train. “Today we’re seeing the simplicity of it. It’s nice and with we can hopefully gain some more fans in Brooklyn and the neat thing is we’re not alienating our fans on Long Island.”

Josh Bailey described the trip as quick and easy. “I think it will make it a lot easier for the fans,” he said.

After arriving at Atlantic Terminal and taking the short walk over to the arena, the team was greeted by Brett Yormark and Bruce Ratner in the plaza. When they made their way inside, Ratner gave the Islanders another warm welcome.

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Islander Jersey and Colors to Remain, but New Third Jersey in the Works

Brett Yormark

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

BROOKLYN – Since the announced move to Brooklyn, Islander fans have feared that a change in venue would result in change in team colors and uniforms. The hand off of control of the team’s business operations to the Barclays Center has fueled that fire even further, especially after the Isles website had a makeover that featured a lot of Brooklyn Nets black and white.

However, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark put those fears to bed Thursday morning when he told reporters that the Islanders colors would not change.

“Charles and I have decided is that the Islander colors as they are today will be the same when they get here. The name will be the same,” Yormark said during the Islanders first day of training camp, which was being held in Brooklyn.

Rumors of a potential change in the team’s historic colors have led to fans using social media to voice their displeasure with the idea to Yormark himself. And their comments did not fall on deaf ears.

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Wang: Isles Could Play Games in Brooklyn Before 2015

Addressing reporters this afternoon at the Barclays Center, Islanders owner Charles Wang said that the team would “be open to playing a few regular season games at Barclays over the next two years,” prior to the team moving there permanently at the end of the 2014-15 season. Wang also noted that the plan is currently to continue to play out the lease at the Coliseum, and not move to Brooklyn permanently before the end of the lease.

Barclays Center to Seat Nearly 16,000 for Hockey

Update, 2:20pm: Owner Charles Wang says there are 400 seats that are “less than desirable” and notes that it is up to Yormark and his team to adjust.

Original Story: This morning, the Islanders took the Long Island Railroad from Garden City to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. A large group made the trip with about 50 players and many members of the media in attendance.

Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark has been giving the media a tour of the arena, and told those in attendance that the arena will seat 15,813 fans for hockey. It is not clear if that number includes seats that may have obstructed views.

This estimate has increased from the 14,500 figure that had been discussed since the move to Brooklyn was announced. The new seating total is also only 357 seats short of the 16,170 that the Nassau Coliseum currently holds, although the Coliseum does not have many, if any, obstructed view seats.

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Inept Nassau Pols Would Like the Islanders to Stay

Kevin Schultz

If there’s one thing that’s been consistent throughout the Coliseum development of the last 10-plus years, it has got to be the inability for Nassau County politicians — both at the County level and lower levels, both Democrat and Republican — to put aside partisan politics and attempt to work on any kind of solution that would keep the Islanders in Nassau County.

On Monday, the new Bruce Ratner-led plan for the Coliseum that appears to be the one that will finally lead to shovels in the ground (but to be on the safe side, don’t hold your breath) got approval from some county committees and will now head to a vote in the legislature on September 23rd. After that, the final step will be approval from NIFA.

Now that a revamped Coliseum seems to be headed for the finish line and the Islanders are tucked safely away in a 25-year “iron-clad” lease with the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, a few Nassau politicians are voicing that they would — pretty please with sugar on top — like to find a way to keep the team in Nassau.

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Snow: Islanders to Take Train to Barclays, Talks MacDonald Contract

Last night, Islanders GM Garth Snow joined Gary Harding on WGBB 1240 AM in New York for an interview. Snow was asked about the Islanders opening training camp in Brooklyn, and the Islanders GM mentioned that the team would take the train to the Barclays center on Thursday:

“We start the first day of main training camp at the Barclays Center, so that’s going to be an exciting day for sure. We’re gonna take the team on the Long Island Railroad and take the train right to Barclays. So it’s going to be a fun day Thursday when we hit the ice for the first time in the Barclays center, but on the flip side we recognize what a special place the Coliseum is…”

The Islanders will host the opening day of training camp at the Barclays Center on Thursday, and then return to the Coliseum and Iceworks for the rest of training camp.

Snow also commented on Andrew MacDonald, who is slated to become a free agent at the end of the season and is likely due a raise:

“I’ve had communication with his agent, we obviously would like to bring Andrew back… We have a player in Andrew who wants to be here and as a lot of these negotiations go, it just comes down to term and money. That will play itself out. It’s still, obviously, early in the process… He’s not a free agent until next summer and we realize how important he is to our team and we’ll try to get something done.”