In stark contrast to the Nets’ warm welcome at the Barclays Center, the NHL Islanders’ inaugural season in Brooklyn has alienated longtime fansand left the club’s new ownership underwhelmed. According to the New York Post’s Rich Kalder and John Kosman, both the franchise and their landlords are looking to severe ties far sooner then the end of the existing 25 year lease :
Jonathan Ledecky — who heads a group of investors set to replace Wang as the team’s majority owner July 1 — apparently is listening. A source close to the Islanders and other industry sources say he’s enamored with possibly moving the team to Queens or back to Long Island.
In either scenario, a new arena likely would have to be built — an expensive proposition considering it cost $1 billion to open Barclays Center in 2012. Another option is renegotiating the Barclays Center lease to salvage the relationship, sources said.
“The Islander deal was forced from the start because the club was hemorrhaging so much money playing on Long Island … and had to bail,” another source said. “Now you’re left with this weird situation where Barclays’ folks pay the Islanders to play there — but aren’t getting the bang for the buck they desired, not to mention all the crap they’re getting from Islander fans who are finding every little fault they can with being in Brooklyn.