At times, it’s felt like the New York Islanders and Barclays Center have been going through a messy, public divorce. Perhaps it will all come down to “who dumps who,” then?
Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick reports that the Barclays Center is likely to “dump” the Islanders after the conclusion of the 2018-19 season, reasoning that the venue would make more money from concerts.
It’s important to note that none of this is official by any means, but here are some key details from Soshnick:
Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who owns the building and the Nets, has since November been seeking an investor to take a stake in both. As of earlier this month, a financial projection shared with potential investors showed the Islanders won’t contribute any revenue after the 2018-19 season — a clear signal that the team won’t play there, the people said.
It’s worth noting that the Islanders can terminate their lease after 2017-18 while Barclays does have the option to do so after 2018-19.
For Islanders fans hoping for a return to their own stomping grounds, the Bloomberg report ends with a punch to the gut: “They have shown no interest in returning to Long Island.”
Reports point out that Gary Bettman hinted at possible issues for the Islanders during the All-Star weekend:
Again, do note that Barclays reps haven’t come out and said this will happen. It’s also worth realizing that the Islanders have been going through a tough season, likely exasperating attendance concerns (thus making other events that much more desirable).
That said, with all the headaches about sight lines, difficult commutes for fans and ice quality in mind, it’s often been a miserable setup for both sides.
It’s increasingly plausible that this relationship will end, with bigger questions about when and where the Islanders might ultimately end up.