The relationship between the New York Islanders and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn hasn’t been a good one since the start.
From the lack of seating to the fact that there are terrible sight lines, things just aren’t going good for the team and venue. Because of that, the team wants out of the lease that it is less than a full season into.
According to the New York Post, the Islanders are looking for ways out of their 25-year lease that was signed back in 2012. The feeling is reportedly mutual from the side of the arena managers. The Post is adding that both parties are “secretly exploring ways to cut ties or modify the existing terms of their lease.”
Though the CEO of the Barclays Center, Brett Yormark, has denied that report to The Post, the Islanders didn’t comment on the matter.
There is allegedly an out clause in the lease contract that can be utilized in the fourth season. The team, and arena, will likely look to adjust that to allow an out sooner rather than later. Should that come soon, the team would have to find a new place to play. According to a source to The Post, it’s something that is already on the mind of the new majority owners coming into power this summer.
From the report:
Jonathan Ledecky — who heads a group of investors set to replace Wang as the team’s majority owner July 1 — apparently is listening. A source close to the Islanders and other industry sources say he’s enamored with possibly moving the team to Queens or back to Long Island.
In either scenario, a new arena likely would have to be built — an expensive proposition considering it cost $1 billion to open Barclays Center in 2012. Anotheroption is renegotiating the Barclays Center lease to salvage the relationship, sources said.
The Islanders were forced to act hastily with their move to Brooklyn because of the amount of money the team was losing — about $20 million per year — while playing at the Nassau Coliseum. Because of that, they have moved to an arena with limited seating, and some of the worst views in all of professional sports.
This is going to be something to keep an eye on in the coming months, especially after July 1 when the new majority owners take over the team. Will there be a brand new arena for the Islanders, or will they be stuck at the Barclays Center for years?
Michael is a former Managing Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s covered the Buffalo Sabres, along with the NHL in general, for various outlets since 2009. His work has been featured on outlets such as Yahoo, Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports.