Sunday, September 20, 2009

Barclays Center officials want Islanders to consider Brooklyn as future home

Remember any talk in the recent past about the idea of the New York Islanders heading west to Brooklyn? It may not be a pipe dream for some fans.

According to Chris Botta of New York Islanders Point Blank, a National Hockey League source has told him that the team was approached by officials in charge of the Barclays Center project to consider their proposed arena as a future place to play. The state did approve the revised plans of the $800 million Atlantic Yards facility on Thursday (three days ago), but whether or not it will ultimately be built still is a question mark.

Here is something to keep in mind. As it stands right now, the Islanders are not allowed to play any home games within New York City's boundaries. The New York Rangers hold territorial rights to the five boroughs of the city.

As of now regardless of whether or not the Islanders would even be entertaining such an option to remain in the nation's largest metropolitan area, the Barclays Center's sporting events have been designed only to accommodate basketball games. It would need additional modifications to allow hockey games to be played there.

The primary focus for owner Charles Wang is to have the Lighthouse at Long Island project approved by Town of Hempstead and Nassau County officials. The most recent hearing was held at Hofstra University on August 4th (click here for WLNY-TV's report). A zoning hearing will be held on Tuesday, September 22nd. If this major project is approved, then the massive Nassau Coliseum transformation can begin. But until then, the Islanders' long-term future on Long Island remains uncertain.

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