Barclays Center Developer ‘Hopeful’ About an Islanders Move to Brooklyn in 2015

UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 21: John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders skates during an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers at the Nassau Coliseum on February 21, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
John Tavares.

The future of the Islanders in Nassau County is unclear these days, and with the team’s Coliseum lease set to expire in 2015, it’s been suggested that the team could move to the currently under-construction Barclays Center in Brooklyn if they don’t get a new facility of their own. Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark didn’t rule out such a move last month, when he confirmed the arena will have an NHL-size ice rink. But Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner yesterday gave his strongest indication yet that he wants the Islanders in the new building, telling Bloomberg Television that he’s “hopeful” the Islanders will move in once their Nassau Coliseum lease is up. Said Ratner: “I think it is highly likely there won’t be a new arena built in Nassau County with the current state of the economy, so I think there is certainly a chance.” (Ratner wouldn’t say whether he’s actually spoken with the Islanders about a potential move.) The Barclays Center hockey configuration will have about 14,500 seats — some 500 fewer than Winnipeg’s MTS Center, which currently has the league’s lowest capacity. (The Islanders averaged just 11,059 fans per game last season at the 16,234-seat Coliseum, fewest in the NHL.) The league, by the way, has no minimum seating requirement. [NYP]

Bruce Ratner ‘Hopeful’ About Islanders Move