Over the next several months, the Islanders and Nassau County are expected to discuss the possibility of the hockey team getting out of its Nassau Coliseum lease a year early. If they strike a deal, the Islanders would begin play at Barclays Center in Brooklyn at the start of the 2014-15 season.
According to sources with Nassau and the Islanders, both sides are open to a financial arrangement that could benefit the bankrupt county and the money-losing team. The Islanders’ lease does not expire for another two full seasons, in the summer of 2015.
Leaving Nassau Coliseum a year earlier would enable the Islanders to begin capitalizing on revenue streams in Brooklyn, while not playing as lame duck tenants at the old barn on Hempstead Turnpike any longer than possible.
A source with knowledge of the team’s internal discussions has told Point Blank that “without question” the Islanders will play next season, the 2013-14 season, at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Islanders Point Blank has reached out to the Islanders for comment, but they have not responded at the time of posting.
The source was emphatic that the Islanders will not head to Brooklyn this summer.
“Too soon,” a source said. “Too much work to be done heading into Barclays.” The source added that if a deal is finalized to get to Brooklyn in time for the 2014-15 season, the Islanders would have next season to bid Long Island and the Coliseum “an appropriate farewell.”
There remains a slight possibility that the Islanders will play a couple of games at the Barclays Center during the 2013-14 regular season. No decision has been made by the team yet. Any regular season games played at Barclays would have to be specifically negotiated with the county, per the Islanders’ lease. This coming summer, a preseason game in Brooklyn, likely against the New Jersey Devils, is expected to be announced for September 2013.