Guest post from our college friend (and Islanders Fan), Comando.
Yes, his name really is Comando.
We kid you not.
After 10 years of failed attempts to build a new arena on Long Island, the New York
Islanders finally have a new home – in Brooklyn.
How could a team called “Islanders” play somewhere other than Long Island?
Technically, Brooklyn is the westernmost county on Long Island. Don’t believe me? Check Wikipedia.
The Islanders still exist? Yes, they do, though they haven’t been relevant in decades.
The Islanders have been a laughingstock in the league since the mid-90s. Poor ownership and poorer management (read: Mike Milbury) led to losing season after losing season. Attendance faltered, but not because the team had no fans. Some boycotted to send a message to ownership that they weren’t happy with the direction of the team. Others stayed away because the team flat-out sucked.
But one thing everyone agreed on is that the Islanders’ home, the Nassau Coliseum, is a dump. If you haven’t been there, consider yourself lucky.
Islanders’ current owner Charles Wang tried his best to keep the team in Nassau County. He proposed numerous plans for a new arena, even offering to pay for the construction himself.
A no-brainer, right?
Due to politics and the stupidity of the decision makers on the Island, every option was shot down.
With the team’s lease up in 2015, it appeared the Islanders would be goners. Other cities made overtures to lure the franchise, including Kansas City and Quebec. But Charles Wang was determined to keep the Islanders in the New York area, and Brooklyn answered the call.
Beginning in 2015, the Islanders will share the Barclays Center with the Brooklyn Nets, signing a 25 year lease – or, in terms an Islanders fans can relate to, the combined length of an Alexei Yashin + Rick DiPietro contract.
So now what? Will Jay-Z be named GM?
After all, this team hired their backup goaltender as their GM.
But seriously, this is a win-win for everyone involved. The Islanders can finally operate as a professional franchise. Revenue should improve with a modern arena to welcome fans and a more favorable lease for the team. The Islanders can maintain a reasonable payroll, and free agents may sign with the team now that they have a decent place to play and players know the team won’t be shipping off to some unknown city at any given time. Heck, this team may actually make the playoffs sometime this century!
Now, if we can just get this lockout resolved before 2015…