It might be all the rage these days to pack up and move to Brooklyn, but it’s looking increasingly like the Islanders could be on their way out of town in the very near future. According to a report published by Bloomberg on Monday, the NHL club could well have its contract with the Barclays Center terminated over the coming years, forcing the Islanders to look for a new home elsewhere.
Insiders who spoke on condition of anonymity stated that Barclays has reached the decision that it could be making far money out of the Center without renting it to the team, determining that the agreement between the two parties is “no longer worth it”.
The clearest sign that the Islanders could soon be made homeless came when recent financial projects Barclays shared with investors showed zero contributions from the team following the 2018-2019 season. This would seem to suggest that this will be the last season during which the Islanders call Brooklyn their home.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman stated over the weekend that future alternative homes were already being considered for the team.
“Well, the owners are committed to the franchise. They’re committed to New York and the great fan base that has followed the Islanders,” he said.
“There are some issues about playing in Barclays. It may be fundamental to the system, and that’s not something that can be fixed in the short terms. I think as is prudent, Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky are reviewing the situation and looking very seriously at what their options are.”
Over the couple of years the Islanders have been resident at the Barclays Center, they’ve run into a variety of challenges with the venue’s compatibility with NHL hockey games. Poor attendance, substandard ice quality, seats with restricted views – it hasn’t been a smooth run in any way.
Nevertheless, the $53.5 million annual contribution made by Barclays to the Islanders has no doubt made it a little easier to overlook certain issues.