As the New York Islanders’ new home in Belmont officially broke ground on Monday, the team recently announced the addition of seven games that will be moved from the Barclays Center to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum:
Sunday, Oct. 6 vs. Winnipeg Jets at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 8 vs. Edmonton Oilers at 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 27 vs. Philadelphia Flyers at 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 2 vs. New Jersey Devils at 7 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 6 vs. Colorado Avalanche at 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 16 vs. New York Rangers at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 25 vs. New York Rangers at 7 p.m.
2018-19 Islanders Arenas
A season ago, the team split games between their two home arenas and won 12 games in each venue. However, the Islanders played the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, winning their two home games at the Coliseum, and played Round 2 at Barclays Center, losing their two home games to the Carolina Hurricanes. The NHL deemed that the Coliseum could not host a second-round playoff match due to the arena not qualifying for an NHL major league facility.
The increase in games at the Coliseum should help attendance, as last season the Islanders averaged 11,313 fans at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The newly renovated Coliseum holds up to 13,971 and averaged 13,519 last season
One reason it hasn’t drawn in fans is that, despite Barclays Center holding up to 15,979 seats, the arena was not built for hockey but basketball; the Brooklyn Nets moved into the arena in 2012. NHL arenas should have steel floor piping while the Islanders use PVC piping at the Barclays Center, which keeps the ice at 21 degrees, warmer than is recommended making the ice difficult to play on.
There are also many obstructed view seats behind the net where the Islanders defend twice and the scoreboard does not line up with center ice. The arena has said that they want the Islanders gone, as they would rather open up space for concerts and other events to produce more revenue.
This season, both home games versus the Rangers have been moved to the Coliseum, which is great, although the Islanders had success playing against their arch-rivals in Brooklyn, only losing once since the change of arenas. However, Islanders fans have been asking for one more game against the Rangers at the Coliseum before the team heads to Belmont.
In the preseason, the Islanders have played all of their home games at the Coliseum and have won all three, two in overtime.
While the players have gone about their business wherever they’ve played, the team never held their morning skate in Brooklyn. Instead, it was moved to Long Island at the Northwell Health Ice Center and the team then traveled to Brooklyn for the game. Although switching arenas didn’t affect the Islanders’ evenly split home record, it will be a lot easier on the players to have 28 games at the Coliseum.
It only matters what you do on the ice, but the Islanders organization and fans will be thrilled about the change in schedule. They won their four Stanley Cups in the Coliseum. Whether the team is in Belmont or Brooklyn, Islanders fans will always call the “Old Barn” home.
Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor degree in journalism. Originally from Long Island, he moved to Parkland shortly after high school. Matt worked as the assistant sports editor for his school paper, eaglenews.com in college becoming just one of nine students in his graduation class to serve over 1,000 community service hours. His goal is to travel to every Major League Baseball stadium, and has been to multiple US Open finals.