Are Islanders heading to Brooklyn early?
By Allan Muir
A report this morning from IslandersPointBlank suggests the team is looking to expedite its departure from Long Island a year sooner than originally announced.
The team is slated to debut at Brooklyn's new Barclays Center at the start of the 2015-16 season, but the site quoted a source who said both Nassau County and the Isles are open to the idea of a "financial arrangement" that would see the team move to Brooklyn after the end of next season.
The source said there's "no chance" the team could move any sooner, noting "there's too much work to be done" before the transition is feasible...at least on a full-time basis.
According the report, "There remains a slight possibility that the Islanders will play a couple of games at the Barclays Center during the 2013-14 regular season. No decision has been made by the team yet. Any regular season games played at Barclays would have to be specifically negotiated with the county, per the Islanders’ lease. This coming summer, a preseason game in Brooklyn, likely against the New Jersey Devils, is expected to be announced for September 2013."
It's certainly no surprise that the Isles are working to this end. The viability of the franchise hinges on the move, so the sooner that's accomplished, the better. This option would still leave the team a year to say good-bye to the only home the franchise has known and begin to put the marketing plans in place that they'll need to ensure the transition is an immediate success.
It'll be interesting to see if this plan affects the makeup of the club moving forward. With the potential for significantly higher revenue streams nearer than before, and with the team close to becoming a legitimate playoff side, will owner Charles Wang open up his checkbook this summer to improve the quality of the product he's bringing to Brooklyn in 2014?
Watching the Isles is about to get a lot more entertaining... BERNSTEIN: Tavares leading Islanders to daylight