"New York Islanders of Brooklyn"
Playing Musical Chairs At The Flatbush Avenue Ice Palace
I won't be rooting for them. But welcome to the Brooklyn renaissance anyway. Recently, with no particular promotional blitz to speak of (unlike the Nets grand entrance into the borough - not yet at least...) the New York Islanders held their first ever practice at Barclays.
In two more years, the Islanders will begin playing their home games in Brooklyn, with a small hand full to be played back in Nassau County. At least that's the tentative plan. Barclays Center was initially built without considerations for hosting hockey. Why? - I do not know, but NHL Hockey is coming nonetheless.
Saturday night, the Islanders "hosted" the Devils in what was for all intent and purpose the first professional hockey game in Kings County. The Devils won by a 3-0 final score. But that's neither here nor there. It is pre-season after all , and there are a great many issues to discuss other than the game itself.
Seating capacity drops from over 18,000 for basketball, to what is being reported as anywhere from 14,500 to 16,500 (rounded) once Barclays Center is reconfigured for ice. Then of those seats, numerous seats on the Flatbush Avenue end of the arena will be obstructed view, if not unavailable. The main seating arrangement will follow a comparatively unconventional u-shape configuration. The most recent official number puts capacity for hockey at 15,813 with perhaps 100 to 300 more being arranged. Over 14,600 fans showed up at the new Flatbush Avenue Ice Palace last night.
On a very local level, I don't know what the club's plans are, and I have no insight, but it would seem the team would have a perfect practice facility on the south end of Flatbush Avenue at Floyd Bennett Field's Aviator Sport Complex. No? And while I'm at it, perhaps the Islanders coming to Brooklyn could somehow lend itself to bringing another minor league club, a la the Brooklyn Aces and Brooklyn Aviators in recent years, back to Aviator Complex as well. I miss those guys.