Southern Brooklyn

Poll: First The Nets, Now The Islanders – Will Pro Sports Be Good For Brooklyn?


The deal to move the Nets to Brooklyn was a high-profile, high-stakes battle that played out in front of the public. The NHL’s New York Islanders, however, seem to have signed on overnight, and will call Barclays Center home beginning in 2015.

Now, after half a century without professional sports in Brooklyn, we have two major franchise teams and a brand-spankin’-new sports arena.

The Islanders deal became public yesterday, first from a few news outlets citing “sources,” and then from the grand poobah of Brooklyn cheerleaders, Borough President Marty Markowitz.

“Today is another great day for Brooklyn,” Markowitz said in a statement. “When I first campaigned for borough president, I made the promise that I would bring a major league sports team to Brooklyn.  But never, in my wildest dreams, did I think we would be home to both the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Islanders. It won’t be a long journey for the Islanders; after all, Brooklyn is where Long Island begins, and Nassau County is just a short Zamboni ride away from the big stage of Brooklyn and the Barclays Center. With the Nets and the Islanders, Brooklyn is beginning a dominant power play.”

Cue the grumbling. Right when complaints about traffic and parking around Barclays seems to have fizzled, the Islanders present a whole new challenge: suburbanites!

“An Arena in Brooklyn Faces Suburban Traffic Test” declares the Wall Street Journal:

Sam Schwartz, the engineer who prepared traffic plans for arena developer Bruce Ratner, sought to reassure local elected officials in the months before the arena opened that the vast majority of concertgoers and sports fans would travel via mass transit. It was an assumption based on studies projecting that fans of the Brooklyn Nets, the basketball team that relocated from New Jersey, would hail from Brooklyn and Manhattan.

… But those projections didn’t account for the arrival of the Islanders, a team whose fans hail from car-centric suburbs.

There are other concerns, of course. One is simply cultural. Do we want Brooklyn to become a “bro-town” with subway cars and local streets packed with jersey-donning drunks, blowing out their terrorist fist jabs and singing Chumbawamba hits? I don’t. I spent four years in New Jersey, and I’m so over that.

Comment policy


  1. If Atlantic Ave wasn’t a major LIRR transit stop I’d be worried about traffic there. Since drinking is allowed on the LIRR I think most “bros” coming from Farhampton will opt to take it instead of sitting in traffic on the LIE or the typical post 2pm westbound traffic on the Belt only to circle around for parking for 30 minutes or pay 30 bucks. Will it do anything for Southern Brooklyn? I doubt it.

  2. Traffic and congestion in the area aside, it may take several years, but having two pro franchises couldn’t hoit. After all, the minor league Cyclones was a nice start, but they didn’t exactly put the borough back on the sports map.

  3. def for islanders in bk, my rangers will now have more home games including msg, jersey and now bk..more chances to see them, and better for bk finances

  4. If MTA has to run more service on the BMT Brighton and/or the IRT Brooklyn (in particular, the IRT Nostrand) line to handle the extra crowds, southern Brooklyn will have a bit more train service at the times when there are extra crowds. Admittedly that is about it.

  5. Here’s a question: since they’re running those trains at taxpayers’ expense, and the thing is likely to be somewhat of an inconvenience to the rest of us, should there be a small tax on Barclays tickets to offset the costs?

  6. I suppose; I would think of this as a sort of “inconvenience tax” that would mainly be aimed at those who do cause a ruckus after games, wandering in the streets inebriated, shouting and whatnot.

    I guess you also had in mind Brooklynites who would be driving in any of the affected areas. In that respect, I would call the presence of Barclays Center patrons an inconvenience to SBK residents driving to/from SI and parts of NJ and eastern LI that are not convenient to PATH or LIRR.

    Same goes for SBK residents who do not live near good mass transit (any subway or, in the future, the B44 SBS, which will hopefully qualify as “good mass transit” for most people) and wish to go to those areas that are convenient to PATH or LIRR.

    I only distinguished the areas well-served by transit from those not as well-served by transit because my point was that most people who live near good mass transit and seek to travel to another area well-served by good and reachable mass transit would be better off using transit to begin with. (Different people have different circumstances, but again, this statement refers to most people whose trips can be made using only good mass transit.) Such people would be inconvenienced less or would not be inconvenienced at all by unruly Barclays patrons and at least some would benefit from extra subway service.

    Anyway, the gist of my argument is that it probably would make sense and that I would look at it as an inconvenience tax for the reasons I described in the first four bodies of text.

  7. I meant the first three bodies of text. NJT commuter rail (for those who want to go to parts of NJ served by this but not by PATH) and Metro-North (for those who want to go upstate) count as well as PATH and LIRR, but SBK folk usually travel to eastern LI, SI, and NJ (ordered from most common destination to least common destination) when it comes to far out-ish areas

  8. I think it is great they are going to be here. But let’s not forget the Cyclones they may a farm team but they are professional and part of the Mets. At least Fred Wilpon remembers his Brooklyn Roots

  9. I’m loving it. Brooklyn is being put back on the map in a major way. Of course the usual “whatever it is I’m against it” people will have their say, but hopefully, it’s only say.

  10. Yay! Just what NY needs, another losing sports team. The Statue of Liberty needs to be revamped to say “Give us your poor, your tired your hungry and all your losing Sports Teams, we’ll take ’em”!

  11. Do you not think that taxing Barclays tickets would at worst simply force most people to buy fewer drinks if they are watching their money closely and trying to economize? Going to Barclays is for leisure anyway; the GOVT needs to spend more money on objects such as education, transportation, etc. There has long been a problem with sports getting the limelight while objects such as education and transportation get neglected

  12. good gosh, its bad enough the govt yells for everyone’s money. it’s really bad when the citizens yell “yes, please take my money”. But i must correct myself. I’m sure when you call for higher taxes, it’s surely not on yourself, you can be darned tootin’ it’s someone else’s money you’re gladly volunteering.

    You want higher taxes? It’s not free. Then except t he 14% unemployment (the real rate) that we have. One or the other. Higher taxes mean a lesser economy. The laws of economics don’t get repealed because Americans stomp their feet and say “I want it all”.

    MORE money for education? What is the NYC education budget. Last I checked it was 20 BILLION dollars, and that was years ago. The solution surely is not higher taxes to that one.

    However, I see a ray of light of agreement between us. I fully agree that sports is overemphasized in America, even if I am a sports fan. Taxing people ain’t the solution to this.

  13. There shouldn’t be a tax on those unruly people. they should be thrown right in jail for the night, and fined. Why should the decent families who go to the game pay for the drunks? Better yet, I think at the Phil. Eagles games, there’s a judge right there in the stadium handing out punishment. I like that idea. What little I learned in sociology is that immediate punishment is more effective than harsh punishment.

  14. Actually the charm of the Dodgers was how often they lost – both on a regular basis all season and in championships when they did play well. Remember – one World Series victory in all that time. So having Loser Clubs would fit right in with the Brooklyn sports tradition (the Cyclones go against the tide – both on a Brooklyn level and on a level with the Mets – mwahaha).

    The Nets may acquire some new fans among the nouveau riche immigrants from the Midwest/California, and maybe some Knicks fans from the rest of native Brooklyn will defect. But the Nets are one of those useless teams with no actual base and no reason to exist. Just like the Devils and the Islanders.

    The Islanders will gain nothing in terms of a base by this move. A pointless team. No Rangers fans in Brooklyn will defect. Never in a million years. Obviously, native Brooklynites of many stripes will never get into hockey. Russian immigrants who love hockey will love their old clubs from the mother country. And the aforementioned Nouveau Riche of the USA? They will cling to their yokel hometown teams the way they do in other sports (I always get a kick out of the yuppie moms who clearly hated sports back home in Wisconsin but suddenly are Packers fans once they took over a Park Slope Brownstone). And the hipsters seem to only root for defunct hockey teams (notice a lot of Nordiques and Whalers shirts lately).

    Ultimately, the Dodgers should come back home.

  15. I have to throw this in: Potvin sucks! I understand that the Ranger fans still occasionally chant this, even if Denis Potvin has been retired for 25 years or so!

  16. Eh, Ned was the one who originally suggested the tax. (I know you know this, but I am just emphasizing it.) I do not particularly see a problem with said suggested tax, but admittedly I do not work or pay bills; I only attend university and my parents cover that cost. Although, I barely ask for anything, so I do not spend their money on much other than university and transportation.

    Taking measures such as that you suggested at the end of your comment to deal with unruly folk is fine I suppose, but the money to pay the judge’s (or judges’) salary (or salaries) does have to come from somewhere unless you had other ideas

  17. If the lines require increased service due to demand they’ll already have increased revenue from the increase in ridership. The MTA won’t run empty trains. If anything to encourage public transit use there should be a discount given to people traveling by public transit to the games to prevent traffic issues and to increase ridership/revenue. You don’t always have to create a new revenue stream, you just gotta reinforce your current one, e.g. Got Milk?

  18. Well, even on a packed train, each ride is subsidized. So if a train is running, it’s best if it’s packed, but it still costs all taxpayers money.

    Regardless, I mentioned it as an intellectual exercise. I do not support such a tax. Well, then again, I won’t be going to the games, and, as Bruce suggests, I AM a big fan of taxing everyone who is not me.


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