Report: Islanders exploring move to Queens
The New York Islanders are exploring a move to Queens with the help of the New York Mets, reports Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick.
The Isles currently play in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, an arena they share with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.
Talks about building a new, hockey-first arena in Willets Point, east of the Mets' home, Citi Field, have been in the works for months, according to Soshnick.
The Isles completed their first season at Barclays this year, finishing a disappointing 28th in league attendance (13,626 per game), ahead of only the Arizona Coyotes and Carolina Hurricanes. The arena was criticized for being too small, with too many obstructed view seats, poor sight lines for hockey, and bad ice conditions.
The players were also reportedly less than happy with having to commute from their homes on Long Island and spend most of their game days in Brooklyn, basically making their entire home schedule feel like a slate of road dates.
The team moved to Barclays in 2015 after failing to acquire taxpayer money to renovate the Nassau Coliseum, the Isles' home since 1972.
In addition to having their very own home, the Queens location is desirable for the Islanders because it moves them closer to their traditional Long Island fan base while being easily accessible by car and mass transit.