Ever since the New York Islanders left Long Island, the entire fan base, and most residents have been hoping for a return. To put it mildly, it seemed like a long shot. Even with the new ownership group of Scott Malkin and Jonathan Ledecky, the talk of moving the team back to Long Island was very quiet at best. With the recent news of a possible Islanders return to Long Island, it would be a dream come true.
Recent reports have new Islanders ownership in talks to build a state of the art arena at Belmont Park. Malkin and Ledecky are talking with New York State officials and the New York Racing Association. It appears that the parties involved in these talks are completely different than those who participated in the new Nassau Coliseum negotiations.
Interesting to note Belmont Park is located on Long Island in the town of Elmont. Belmont Park is literally a stone’s throw away from Queens, New York. Newsday (Long Island’s #1 newspaper) reported over the weekend that the Islanders are being courted to come to Belmont Park. The Islanders have an out-clause at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn after the 2018-19 season.
— News12LI (@News12LI) July 23, 2016
The Fan Base
When the Islanders moved from Nassau County, Long Island to Brooklyn many people outside of the New York area didn’t realize how many hardships were created.
First, there were many families who were season ticket holders that now had a difficult time taking to Islander games during the week. A lot of people live on Long Island but work in New York City. When the Islanders played at the Nassau Coliseum, a parent could get home during the week from work to pick up their kids and take them to the Islander game. The move to Brooklyn caused major complications for many families.
Also, there is a tremendous amount of Islander fans in Suffolk County, Long Island. A trip from out east to Brooklyn via train is a lengthy one. Still doable but no doubt limited for many fans a number of games they could attend.
A move to Belmont Park would not only be so much more convenient but would eliminate most major complications for fans, especially with games during the week.
They Are Called the Islanders
Let’s not forgot there is a reason why they are called the Islanders. While the Islanders have many fans in Connecticut, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey, this is a Long Island team. If the Islanders moved to Belmont Park it would be a huge boost in so many ways for the Long Island community.
Let’s Not Forget About Brooklyn
Again the Islanders and Belmont Park are at the if stage. But if they do indeed move to Belmont Park, all Islander fans owe a huge thank you to Brooklyn and the Barclays Center.
If it wasn’t for the Barclays Center in all likelihood the Islanders would be in Quebec City or Kansas City. Nothing against those cities but there is no reason why the New York Islanders cannot thrive on Long Island.
Hopefully, Scott Malkin and Jonathan Ledecky can make all New York Islander fans dreams come true.
I am a Long Island – New York City guy. I have been writing about Hockey and Baseball for almost 10 years now on the web. I am also part of the Vegas Hockey Podcast, which is now part of “The Hockey Writers” podcast network. I have been an Islanders fans since the early 80’s. My goal is to bring insightful articles to everyone out there on the Islanders.