FORT GREENE – There are going to be a lot fewer blue and orange jerseys around the Barclays Center.
Governor Cuomo announced on Wednesday that the New York Islanders will skate away from the Barclays Center and return to Long Island to a reportedly $1 billion new complex adjacent to Belmont Park that will include an 18,000-seat arena, a 400,000-square-foot retail center, and a hotel, according to the New York Times.
The Islanders have been playing in Brooklyn since 2015, sharing the Barclays Center with the Brooklyn Nets. The arena is reportedly not well-suited for hockey, with sub-par ice conditions and poor sight lines. During their three seasons at Barclays, many fans have opted out of commuting into Brooklyn to support their team, putting the Islanders at the bottom of the list in NHL attendance, the Times reports.
While the Islanders are scheduled to play at Barclays through next season, the new Belmont Park arena is not slated to be completed until 2020, so the team will need to find a temporary place to play. Governor Cuomo is pushing to have them return to their former longtime home, the Nassau Coliseum, until their new arena is ready.