The New York Islanders have announced that they will be making a major announcement with Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Wednesday afternoon. The announcement is set for 1 p.m. eastern time.
According to the New York Post, the NHL team will announce their intention of moving from Long Island to Brooklyn. The Islanders will reportedly make the move in 2015 when their lease with Nassau Coliseum expires.
The Islanders have been looking to play in a new arena for the past few years. With Barclays Center opening in 2012, it appears to be a natural fit for the hockey team.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, team owner Charles Wang and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz are expected to be in attendance. Developer Bruce Ratner will also be there. In August, Ratner admitted that he was “trying like hell” to get the Islanders to move to Brooklyn.
The move to Brooklyn will keep the Islanders in New York, which wasn’t a guarantee before today’s announcement. Wang has stated that he won’t play at Nassau Coliseum after 2015, and there had been rumors that the team could move to another state.
There is some concern about playing hockey in the arena for 41 games a season. Barclays Center only holds approximately 14,500 people for hockey games, making it the NHL’s smallest arena.
The Islanders and New Jersey Devils were scheduled to play a preseason game at Barclays Center, but the game could not take place due to the lockout.