THE MORNING SKATE — Predictably, Long Islanders Are Taking the Train to Barclays

Kevin Schultz

In news that should come as no surprise to anyone who understands Long Island, a report in Newsday shows that Long Islanders will, in fact, sit on the Long Island Railroad for extended lengths of time to attend events at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Long Island is a populace that’s used to sitting in traffic on a daily basis and used to spending long periods of time on the train to get to New York City. The early returns show that we’ll also be willing to take the extra time to get to the brand new Barclays Center. The arena, which opened in September, has provided the LIRR with an average increase of 3,300 riders per event on their Atlantic Terminal line. That’s nearly a fifth of the arena’s basketball capacity of 17,732 coming from Long Island, on average.

Helping offset the 2.4 million customers lost to Sandy were big gains on the LIRR’s Brooklyn line since the September opening of the Barclays Center, across the street from the railroad’s Atlantic Terminal.

On nights that the arena hosted events, LIRR ridership soared by 334 percent, with the railroad carrying an average of 3,300 new customers, Williams said.

The arena has held lots of concerts as well as Brooklyn Nets NBA games and a couple of college basketball games since it opened. These events don’t have any specific connection to Long Island, save for tenuous ones like the University of Maryland’s basketball team playing a game in a metro area with a large number of alumnus. If this is what’s happening for events that don’t have a strong Long Island connection, we’ll could very well see a greater increase when the Islanders move into the arena. The most important factor, as always, will be how successful the team is. If games like last night occur more frequently, more people will be willing to ride the train to the games.

BLINDING SPEED, IN GIF FORM
via TheHockeyGuys, here is Michael Grabner’s breakaway goal from last night. Feel free to paste it all over the Facebook walls of Penguin and/or Ranger fans.
grabner

MEET IN PRINCIPAL SKINNER’S OFFICE
After last night’s hit from behind on Ben Lovejoy, Colin McDonald will have a disciplinary meeting with the NHL at 10:45am. That’s automatic whenever someone gets a non-fighting ejection.