Following are the highlights from Wednesday’s press conference at Barclays Center announcing the New York Islanders are moving to Brooklyn.
Isles owner Charles Wang:
—- 25-year “ironclad” lease to play at Barclays Center starting in 2015-16.
—- Team name will remain New York Islanders. (Will not be Brooklyn Islanders.)
—- “Tried very hard” to keep the Islanders in Nassau County, but ultimately had to move on.
—- Will honor lease at Nassau Coliseum that expires after the 2014-15 season.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman:
—- To Isles fans: “You don’t have to worry about the future of this club.”
—- Current capacity of Barclays Center is officially 14,500. A few hundred seats may be added, but the size is not a concern. Cites Winnipeg’s success in a smaller arena.
—- On the lockout: “The union has chosen not to engage on our proposal.” Says 82-game season looking unlikely, though time still left on the clock.
New York mayor Michal Bloomberg:
—- Easy to get to Barclays Center via public transit.
—- Rangers-Islanders rivalry just got bigger.
—- Brooklyn will help Islanders “get their mojo back”
Barclays Center majority owner Bruce Ratner:
—- For keeping team in the local market, “Charles Wang is the real hero today.”