Nassau Coliseum has been home to the New York Islanders’ hockey franchise for over 30 years, until they moved to Brooklyn. This move upset countless fans who now could not see their team play live. With the hockey season being split between the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and The Nassau Coliseum, it is imperative for the team to return home. The reasons for the Islanders returning home are innumerable.
The Nassau Coliseum or “The Barn” as referred to by the fans is home to countless memories. Not only were the Islanders playing there when they won four Stanley cups, but personal and individual memories were also made there. Families from all across Long Island had brought their family and friends to watch games. It is a true Long Island pastime. The fans had forgotten that feeling while the team was in Brooklyn. Now with a portion of this season being played at “the Barn”, Long Islanders have that feeling again. They can relive those memories of time spent with their families and memories of their childhood. This feeling gave Long Islanders the fuel they needed to strongly voice their desire to have the team return home. The fans feel that the team should be where it originated and where their name says they are… Long Island.
One of the main reasons the Islanders should return home is because of the travel problems of going to Barclays. Not only are most of the trains leaving the area almost impossible to line up with the game time, but you have to change trains at Jamaica Station which has a high likeliness of missing your train especially if you don’t know the area. If the Islanders returned home than the fans could just drive to the games and not have to worry about trains or missing them. Another reason why the Islanders should permanently return home is Barclays center isn’t meant for hockey. It is the home of the Nets. It is built to be for viewing Basketball games not hockey games. If you try to watch the game in Brooklyn you must have low seats in order to see the ice and the game. The problem with this is that the tickets are ridiculously expensive and out of the price range of most fans. If you get seats that are in price range and higher up, they are uncomfortable and have obstructed views. This is because the basketball arena is so steep that it is uncomfortable to sit in higher seats. Not to mention the large amounts of objected view seats. The “Barn” doesn’t have this problem as the seats are more comfortable to sit in up top, as the stadium is meant for hockey.
Yet another problem Islanders fans have to endure in Brooklyn Is the placement of the scoreboard. In a hockey area and during hockey games the scoreboard is above center ice so anyone in any seat can see the score and remaining time. In Brooklyn the scoreboard isn’t in the correct space as it is set up for basketball. In the “Barn” this problem doesn’t happen as the scoreboard is in the correct space. This is yet another reason why the Islanders should return to Nassau Coliseum.
Another major problem in Barclays is the loss of traditions. On Long Island in the “Barn” Islander fans had traditions that have been practiced for countless years and became part of being an Islander fan. One of the biggest traditions was tailgating and having a great time in the parking lot. This doesn’t sound like much but to Islander fans this has been going on for years. Weather its cooking a pregame meal or just listing to music with friends it was a common tradition that all Islander fans felt. In Barclays there isn’t space to do this and Islander fans can’t carry on tradition. This is extremely hard for them. But if the Islanders permanently returned to “the Barn” this would not be a problem as they could celebrate each game. One other tradition that has been lost was very important for the community.
The “Barn” has been a place for community since its opening. A large part of that community was Hofstra University. The students at the university always broadcast-ed the games on their student run station. It was something that if you were driving you still could hear the game. This also brought the university into light for their contributions to community and great work of students. Due to this in the Coliseum had a special section of seats dedicated to the university. This was all changed when they went to Brooklyn. As you can see the Islanders have a rich history on Long Island and should return home permanently.