GAME CHANGER! Professional hockey could be coming to Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Paper
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Barclays Center officials now say that the Prospect Heights sports arena will be able to host a professional hockey team — a flip-flop that comes days after Nassau County voters rejected a new home for the struggling New York Islanders.

Developer Forest City Ratner originally intended to include hockey as a possible use for the under-construction $1-billion home for the Brooklyn-bound Nets, but the icemen were banished when the arena was redesigned two years ago to cut costs.

“We hope to explore hockey opportunities in the future,” Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said this week, though quickly adding, “[but] our primary focus at the moment is to build the best sports and entertainment venue in the world.”

The Islanders’ lease at the Nassau County Veterans Coliseum will expire in 2015 — and the Barclays Center became a possible landing pad after suburban voters on Monday rejected a new arena for the team, once the elite of the National Hockey League.

An Islanders move to Brooklyn would enrage Madison Square Garden officials, whose Rangers currently have a monopoly in the city. But the Islanders’ deal with the NHL only requires the team to stay on Long Island — a plot of land that includes Brooklyn at its western apex.

On Tuesday, Borough President Markowitz all but donned an oversize jersey and a pair of skates, campaigning for the Islanders to move to Kings County.

“We’ve got lots of hockey fans, and since we’re technically still on Long Island, they can call themselves the ‘Brooklyn Islanders,’ ” Markowitz told our sister-publication, the New York Post. “If they come here, I would personally take the first spin on the Zamboni.”

The venue is designed to hold 18,000 seats for basketball, but its capacity for hockey games would only be 14,500 seats, about 1,750 seats less than the Nassau Coliseum. It would be the smallest arena in the National Hockey League.

The Islanders drew an average of just over 11,000 last season, when they were 30-39-13 and failed to qualify for the playoffs.

Experts say the limited seating arrangements may hinder the NHL from considering Brooklyn as a destination for a struggling franchise.

“The fact that they say it can support a hockey rink is not the same of saying that it can support a hockey rink up to National Hockey League standards,” said Neil deMause, author of “Field of Schemes,” an analysis of stadium deals. “It’s not a matter of taking out the first couple of rows — you’d have some seats that wouldn’t have site lines that would work for hockey.”

For now, arena opponents have vowed review any plan that would require a redrawing of the Barclays Center plans.

“At a time that residents are more concerned with their monthly bills, they should not bear the cost of a hockey franchise, including, but not limited, to infrastructure or retrofitting the Barclays arena,” said Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene).

The Barclays Center will open in September, 2012, and host college hockey games and Disney on Ice, in addition to a full schedule of hoop dreams.

The larger Atlantic Yards project — which once called for 16 skyscrapers and thousands of units of luxury and affordable housing — is stalled because of the economy, Ratner has said. Renting the Barclays Center to the Islanders for 40 home games could generate much-needed revenue.

Updated 5:25 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

InTheSlope from Park Slope says:
more losers 2 Brooklyn..... smart voters in LI, let Wang & others pay for their own.... 2 bad that didn't happen with Ratner.... AY/Barclays Arena screwed the local workers that supported it.... gee didn't see that coming....... no one will support the arena.... what a waste of money.....
Aug. 4, 2011, 7:22 am
steve from downtown says:
Great move for Brooklyn. Hope it happens !
Aug. 4, 2011, 8:35 am
Jamie from Flatbush says:
Yeah I'm jealous that Nassau County voters actually got a say in whether public resources would be devoted to a sports arena. Unlike here where Ratner cuts a sweetheart deal with a few elected officials and the public be damned.
Aug. 4, 2011, 9:16 am
RoRo from cobble hill says:
This probably won't happen.
Sports reports say that the Islanders owner wants to own his building and stop paying rent.
Aug. 4, 2011, 9:28 am
Beth from South brooklyn says:
my right wing, incredibly racist in-laws live in Nassau Cty and vote against the arena. their arguments -- too much traffic, no bonds for construction even if every dime is paid back, professional sports just draw the undesirables etc --were very similar to those used by so-called liberal urban homesteaders in their fight against AY. interesting?
Aug. 4, 2011, 9:41 am
john from park slope says:
when did this whole notion of sports drawing the wrong people come about? lol arenas are not like strip clubs. it's not like the attractions gonna be illegal dog fights or somethin like that, it's professional sports geez people don't like fun i guess... when these people say things like "undesirables" it sounds like code words for "blacks" when they're talkin about basketball. racist rich white people
Aug. 4, 2011, 10:28 am
Dave from Park Slope says:
Beth and John, please cite any instance of "so-called liberal urban homesteaders" opposed to Atlantic Yards playing the race card (and "Jennifer McMillan" doesn't count). Seems to me the only people who've ever played the race card are supporters of the project -- as you have just done yourselves.

Enough Nassau County voters were smart enough to know that arenas NEVER generate a positive return for taxpayers. And the idea of "every dime" being paid back was never on the table for Nassau County, and most certainly not for Brooklyn.
Aug. 4, 2011, 11:23 am
Hy Landers from Midwood says:
Let's push everyone on Brooklyn!
Go to ....
Let's go.
Aug. 4, 2011, 11:35 am
InTheSlope from Park Slope says:
it is still speculation that the team will change its name once they move to Brooklyn..... Prokhorov now owns the Nyets, not Ratner or the King of Clowns Marty - wizo'wics... what poetic justice not having Brooklyn in the teams name.... ANOTHER screwing.....
Aug. 4, 2011, 12:23 pm
Beth from South Brooklyn says:

Many inhabitants of Park Slope and its environs are suburban transplants that claim to reject the norms and values from whence they came. They moved to the big city to escape droll banity and social oppression of life in a small town. Yet, it seems to me that this very ilk is dedicated to making the brownstone belt a strictly upper middle class mostly residential (save for a few locally owned shoppes) enclave very similar to Great Neck or Garden City - with better coffee, beer and organic produce and a lot more tattoos.

That being said, when my right-wing, fox listening father in-law went off on the Islander arena, he sounded just like the Park Slope mommies that have been bending my ear for the past six years. At first I thought this was a case of the far left and far right "meeting behind the barn" like they do on issues such as homeschooling and forced vaccinations. Now I think they think alike, because they have the same modus operandi.

Aug. 4, 2011, 12:30 pm
Daniel from Central NJ says:

You had to know Ratner was watching the vote very closely. You had a sense this was coming. The minute that referendum in Nassau went down to defeat on Monday Night, that Ratner was going to pounce on an opportunity to bring the Islanders to the Barclays Center. Ratner wants a hockey team in that building and now, he has the opportunity with Wang to get the Islanders to come into his building.

As for Prokhorov, remember one thing, in Russia, hockey is a much bigger deal than Basketball and given the fact that the Winter Olympics are in Sochi in '14, and the lease in Uniondale is up a year later, and in Brighton Beach, there are a lot of Russians and that nation is hockey crazy with a proud tradition of excellence. All those factors lead me to believe that Prokhorov is going to be a big player in this going forward, even though he says nyet right now.

I've come to learn not to underestimate Bruce Ratner, when he wants something bad enough, he gets it. I think he'll find a way to get Wang to bring his Islanders West to Brooklyn. It makes total sense here. You have the LIRR at Atlantic Terminal, which would lead into the Arena. You have the Atlantic Mall across the street, which would be packed on Game Nights with business. Everything leads toward the Islanders going to Brooklyn.
Aug. 4, 2011, 8:12 pm
nets14 from Brooklyn says:
I'm convinced that all opposers are ——ing morons....
Aug. 5, 2011, 1:50 am
nets14's conscience from Brooklyn says:
Sorry, I'm a pseudonymous jerk.
Aug. 5, 2011, 5:16 am
Cheech from prospect heights says:
Te more the merryer!!h
Aug. 5, 2011, 7:51 am
Bay Ridge from Bay Ridger says:
The Nassau situation is more complicated than descibed here. Wang offered to foot the entire bill for a Coliseum re-do but asked for offices and residences to help foot the bill. The Town of Hempstead wouldn't go for it because the pols weren't making enough personal kickback $$$ on the deal. (That is not too much of an exaggeration.)

Then the newly elected County Executive who in a short time managed to put the County back deeply in the RED pulled this stunt to be able to say he tried to keep the Islanders. It's all political BS.
Aug. 5, 2011, 8:11 am
InTheSlope from Park Slope says:
University of Chicago economist Allen Sanderson memorably put it, "If you want to inject money into the local economy, it would be better to drop it from a helicopter than invest it in a new ballparks."
Aug. 5, 2011, 9:58 am
InTheSlope from Park Slope says:
The Nation: Stop The Subsidy-Sucking Sports Stadiums

Aug. 5, 2011, 10:56 am
Pher from Prospect Heights says:
A court just ordered ESDC and Ratner to do another round of environmental analysis and consider changes to the project because Atlantic Yards' build out went from 10 to 25 years; ESDC hasn't yet said if it will appeal.

Adding another pro sports franchise to Barclays will increase traffic and noise impacts to the surrounding community. And Ratner would almost certainly seek additional public subsidy in exchange for bringing the Islanders to Brooklyn.

Put it all together, and you can bet on significant new changes in the Atlantic Yards plan. One thing is clear: the project is more and more about the arena, and less and less about affordable housing and jobs. Time to speak up!
Aug. 5, 2011, 11:47 am
nets14 from Brooklyn says:
Sorry conscience, still think opposers are ——ing morons.
Aug. 5, 2011, 1:04 pm
nets14's conscience says:
Sorry, the reason I hate "opposers" is that I'm 14 years old.
Aug. 5, 2011, 1:40 pm
nets14 from Brooklyn says:
nope, the reason why i hate opposers is because they are stubborn and oppose a project that helps the city, very clueless.
Aug. 5, 2011, 2:02 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
According to Neil de Mause, the author of the famous novel, Feild of Schemes, he mentioned that the arena will be too small to have an NHL team. The most that can ever be there can be a preseason game, but not any regular season games. Those given the vote on Monday didn't vote against funding it because they didn't want the Islanders there anymore, they voted because they didn't want to fund it. Taxpayer dollars should go for things that serve the public, not help a rich man richer. As for nets14, de Mause has proven countless times that sports facilities do NOT help the places they are in but rather than hurt them. Just go over to his blogsite, which is the same name as his book, and he gives the irrefutable evidence showing why.
Aug. 5, 2011, 4:53 pm
nets14 from Brooklyn says:
And I think "opposers" is a good word choice. Shaddup already.
Aug. 5, 2011, 7:33 pm
InTheSlope from Park Slope says:
hey nets14: get someone like your Mother or Father to read & explain this to you.... because only immature 14 yo's like you will work for the ticketing dept of the losing NJ Nets answering news posting; no real sports marketing professional would!!

The Nation: Stop The Subsidy-Sucking Sports Stadiums

Aug. 5, 2011, 8:23 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
InTheSlope, there is no convincing nets14 on this seeing that he is one of those who drinks the kool aid that Ratner gives him. Even after former supporters protested, he still believes such myths that is being thrown. Don't wait until we told you so, because in the end, you will be fooled. When Ratner ends up breaking his promises, don't come crying to me nets14, because we told you so.
Aug. 5, 2011, 9:05 pm
nets14 from Brooklyn says:
im not 14, dont know where that is coming from. Come crying to you tal? what are they going to kill me? You guys are all just liberal jokes.
Aug. 5, 2011, 10:49 pm
nets15 from Brooklyn says:
Had a birthday. Take that, opposers.
Aug. 6, 2011, 1:30 pm
InTheSlope from Park Slope says:
When you sell NJ Nets tickets, you have ALL the time in the world to kill….. Nobody’s buying & you can’t give them away……
Aug. 6, 2011, 2:21 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Didn't you hear about Ratner's history of broken promises, nets14? He has a history of promising locals everything, but then giving them nothing in the end. He did similar things when building MTC, and all the businesses and agencies that located there just relocated their existing employees instead of hiring them. Doesn't the fact that the number of just the construction worker jobs decreased from the original number bother you? Don't you feel suspicious about the EB-5 Program that is used to bring in a bunch of Chineese workers through a shady deal instead of just hiring locals that are here? Better yet, doesn't that fact that just this week former supporters were protesting at the project show how much they have been used? I am still surprised even after all of that, you still believe everything he tells you. Please read those links that InTheSlope gave, because they state a lot of facts that de Mause has given on this.
Aug. 6, 2011, 5:07 pm
Mooch from Bay Ridge says:
I love the comment about undesirables being racist code for blacks. I own knicks tickets and I also just put a down payment on Nets tix in 2012. Most of the crowd is white. Maybe you are racist for just assuming everyone at an NBA game is black.

At any rate, I have witnessed this so many times in other cities....huge opposition to a stadium or arena and five years later everyone is saying what wonders it did for the neighborhood.

The Nets are going to be a huge success in Brooklyn and be one of the most supported teams in NBA. 2.5 million people just in Brooklyn alone plus LI and near that transportation hub. It will be great.
Aug. 6, 2011, 7:57 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mooch, nobody who has opposed this project has ever used race once. As a matter of fact, there are black people who oppose this project as well. If anyone had used race in this issue, it was Ratner especially when he played ACORN and created a group known as BUILD. Just recently, some of those members of BUILD are now waking up and realizing that Ratner had lied to them. In reality, sports facilities do not help their areas, they actually hurt them especially if they are subsidized, and Neil de Mause, the author of Field of Schemes, has proven that numerous times.
Aug. 6, 2011, 8:08 pm
InTheSlope from Park Slope says:

ads from programs managed not to mention 'Brooklyn Nets' only Nets Basketball... what are they waiting for? maybe the LI Nets/NY nets
Aug. 7, 2011, 7:27 am
InTheSlope from Park Slope says:
Mooch is just another sports fan that thinks that just because they go to a couple of games a year they're 'in the game'.... Ratner hired BerlinRosen's (@ $500,000), Michael Rabinowitz - an expert coalition-builder, with all of his political & policy experience looking to move an agenda from the grassroots up and found out that Brooklyns 2.5 m residents DO NOT support the Nets or the arena, so the majority of fans will come from outside NY...

If Brooklyn supports the Nets why did Ratner spend a half of million dollars for BerlinRosen?

Go ahead call Mr. Rabinowitz.... P: 646.452.5637 or email: and ask for his report & you'll find that is was a complete waste of money.... dream on.... just because you say it doesn't make it a fact... BerlinRosen's report did....
Aug. 7, 2011, 7:42 am
Paul from Ft Greene says:
nets-whatever-your-age-is, every honest study of the effects of sports facilities has concluded that:
a: they lose buckets of money for any municipality that subsidizes them
b: they make buckets of money for the owners, who clearly don't need the subsidies
c: after 5-10 years the team owners will blackmail the municipalities for more (unneeded) subsidies
d: if they are built in thriving neighborhoods they become blight bombs, not cures. (Anybody been to Yankee Stadium or CitiField, or the old versions? See many rich people fighting to live there? Maybe they just don't like crowds of immature puking yahoos who think part of their entertainment includes trashing the area around the shrine...)

The only "studies" that say positive things about these disasters are paid for by the developers who are hoping the lies will be believed if they are said often enough, including online by paid "contributors" to blogs and newspaper responses.

This neighborhood has fought this disaster for 7 years and needs to vote out (and maybe prosecute) every politician who helped push it forward, from Carl Kruger to Marty Markowitz to Michael Bloomberg. AND publicly thank Tish James and Velmanette Montgomery for fighting so hard against it.

Maybe you'll understand this by the time you hit 21 and start realizing how much of your tax money is being stolen by Ratner.
Aug. 7, 2011, 10:16 am
InTheSlope from Park Slope says:
The NBA: Buying Into A Failing League

But that doesn't explain why Bruce Ratner sold the New Jersey Nets (he was losing tons of money on the Nets and needed more investment money pumped into Atlantic Yards)
Aug. 8, 2011, 9:50 am
InTheSlope from Park Slope says:

Mooch: so who are these people?

you are so uninformed......
Aug. 8, 2011, 12:41 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Thank you for saying this Paul, and this is exactly what de Mause said in his book, plus I have met him one time. Nevertheless, nobody was ever against having the Islanders staying in Nassau County, they were against funding for it, and this was a similar thing in Seattle with the Sonics and in Sacramento with the Kings. I am so tired of those who are black and white on this issue. Just because they were against providing the subsidies, didn't mean they were against keeping the team. Taxpayer dollars should be used for going to what is actually public, and line the pockets of a rich man. In the old days, the sports owners were in charge of paying for the facilities themselves, and they couldn't use any money from the public at all. Another reason why so many voted against this was because they were paying enough taxes as is. No wonder why this country is such bad shape with a debt ceiling, and that has to with the rich not paying their fair share by avoiding so many taxes through so many sweetheart and back room deals they are getting from politicians at all levels, while the rest of us at lower incomes are forced to pay even more just to cover it for them.
Aug. 8, 2011, 4:02 pm
John from Ditmas Park says:
This would be spectacular--bring the NHL to Brooklyn!
Aug. 9, 2011, 1:36 pm
InTheSlope from Park Slope says:
oh yes, bring 2 spectacularly hapless losing teams to Brooklyn... for what 3 people to attend to have something to do?
Aug. 9, 2011, 3:51 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Can I ask some of you guys from south Brooklyn something? If this was being built in your area, would you be supporting it or being against it? Better yet, how would any of you feel if this was your property that Ratner wanted to build it on? It's very easy to support something when you are not the victim. As for the teams, as long as they are playing the way they are right now, they will never get high attendance, and where they play has nothing to do with it.
Aug. 10, 2011, 5:51 pm
maan from boston says:
I hope they're really pushing their games here at Brooklyn! Red Wings Tickets
Red Wings
Aug. 12, 2011, 12:23 am
maan from boston says:
I hope they're really pushing their games here at Brooklyn! A lot of supporters are waiting!
Aug. 12, 2011, 12:24 am

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