The Barclays Center in Brooklyn is ready to play host to the New York Islanders after the team's contract with Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum expires in 2015.
"We are interested in bringing NHL hockey to Brooklyn. We feel very strongly about Brooklyn as a hockey market and know we can accommodate it from a building perspective," Barclays Center and Nets CEO Brett Yorkmark said.
Yorkmark is also looking forward to a continued dialogue about the Islanders' playing more games at Barclays Center. The Islanders are scheduled to play the New Jersey Devils in an exhibition at the arena on Oct. 2.
"I would hope that's possible," Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner said when asked whether his arena would welcome the Islanders when the lease in Nassau runs out.
Barclays Center is the only completed state-of-the-art arena that could be available for the Islanders in the New York area. The arena opens in September and will be home to the Brooklyn Nets.
The stadium is designed mainly as ideal sight lines for basketball and if turned into a hockey venue, it would only hold 14,500 spectators, which would make it the smallest arena in the NHL.
Islanders' team owner Charles Wang said his team will not play another game in the antiquated arena, built in 1972, after the expiration of the lease. The team is one of 11 major league sports franchises in New York that does not play in a new or recently updated venue.
But NHL commissioner Gary Bettman believes that the Islanders can find an alternative in Long Island so that fans can watch their team in action.
"There's still time to effectuate a plan," Bettman said. "It's beyond question that they need a new arena, it's beyond question they they're not going to stay in Nassau Coliseum, so Charles will explore the alternatives. We hope the alternatives continue to be on Long Island so Islanders fans who are many and loyal, can see their team."
It was also reported that Wang is mulling to move his team to Ontario, Quebec City and Seattle, among others.
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