BROOKLYN-What do the following have in common: Jay-Z, Bob Dylan and the New York Islanders? Answer: the alliterative Barclays Center of Brooklyn, which today became the new home to the local ice hockey team. The news was revealed at a press conference here today. New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Islanders General Manager Garth Snow, and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark also attended the briefing.
Sports fans won’t have to make the trek to MSG or elsewhere any longer to catch some quality entertainment, it seems; the Nets also picked up a corner (or two) of this prime real estate to rest their weary (and hopefully triumphant) bones. And if the National Hockey League give the nod, the Islanders will also start settling in for the 2015 – 16 season as part of a 25-year agreement, media outlets reported today.
In a statement on the Islanders’ official website, Bruce Ratner, Barclays Center majority owner and developer, was quoted: “We are delighted to welcome the Islanders to Brooklyn and to bring NHL hockey to the borough for the first time,” he said. “Eleven subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road come directly to Barclays Center at Atlantic Terminal, offering great accessibility for current and future Islander fans.”
The Nassau County Executive’s office could not be reached for comment at press time.
Earlier this year, GlobeSt.com also reported on what seemed to be a plan to keep the Islanders in Nassau County. The project called for redevelopment of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum site here with a new sports arena to the tune of $400 million (from public funds), including $50 million to construct a minor-league baseball stadium. Needless to say, the scheme was shot down.
The Islanders move to Brooklyn marks another interesting development for the booming borough which will soon be known for much more than the artisanal eateries and hipster prominence of hot areas like Williamsburg. Hotel properties have been popping or sprucing up, giving tourists and weekend warriors alike a cheaper, accessible option to the high rates of Manhattan. And GlobeSt.com reported on the opening of the Barclays Center, and the start to the 4.9-billion Atlantic Yards project downtown here.