Brooklyn’s Barclays Center might need to fill seats on a “quality over quantity” basis for the New York Islanders to make some decent cash. New York Newsday passes along word from the team that the official capacity for hockey is 15,813 fans, which would generate the second smallest maximum crowds of any NHL team as of this writing.
(The Winnipeg Jets’ MTS Centre packs in a league-low 15,004 while the Islanders’ current home Nassau Coliseum comes in second with 16,178.)
However teams might fudge the numbers, the Isles would remain in the lower end of the NHL’s capacity ranks. The Edmonton Oilers’ Rexall Place’s 16,839 (via Stats Hockey) is the only other building that falls below 17,000, and the franchise is pushing for a new building.
Contrast those buildings with the Montreal Canadiens’ cavernous Bell Centre (21,273, also via Stats Hockey) and you get a quick snapshot regarding why the league contains “have and have-nots.”