Islanders Blog: Time To Move On

By Nick Colombo
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Over the weekend, Newsday did another one of their big fancy stories lamenting the state of the Islanders. The article worried, as many Islanders fans do, that the team may one day leave Long Island. A few days later, Chris Botta, on his blog Islanderspointblank, suggested the Islanders get their act together now so the town of Hempstead will want them to stay when the lease ends in 2015. There’s an obvious question here no one has the guts to ask, so I’ll do it. Who cares if the Islanders stay on Long Island?

Every time we have this discussion, where we consider the Islanders leaving Long Island, I am blown away by the parade of fans and writers waxing poetic about staying in Hempstead. Do yourselves a favor folks, read an economics book, wake up, and smell the 21st century. We can all have a fun time thinking back to the glory of days of the Islanders being your hometown super local sports team, but it’s time for all of us to face the reality of modern day sports. If you’re a real fan that actually wants the Islanders to be good again in your lifetime, you should be saying your prayers every night that the team packs up and moves into the city.

It’s a sad reality, but tiny local franchises that serve a small community just can’t survive in today’s big money corporate sports world. In Saturday’s article, the Islanders celebrate their efforts to attract corporate sponsors like… Bethpage Federal Credit Union. You know what bank is a corporate sponsor for the Mets? Citibank. You know what bank sponsors the Yankees? Bank of America. You ever hear of a little company called American Express? Yea, they sponsor the Rangers. There is just no way the Islanders can survive as a franchise, let alone compete, if they don’t have access to the same kind of revenues other big time modern sports franchises do.

It’s time to cut the cord. The Nassau Coliseum is a dump, and I don’t care if the Isles win three cups between now and 2015, in this economic climate, no local municipality is building them a new anything. So it’s time to stop complaining and hoping the Islanders stay in little suburban Hempstead, NY. In order for this team to ever attain its former glory they need to pack up, move west to Queens, and embrace the fact they’re called the NEW YORK Islanders.

Questions, comments, or praise the fact the Islanders took my advice and kept Poulin in the NHL. Send them my way at

Should the Islanders move? Comment below.

pixy Islanders Blog: Time To Move On
  • George Lurye

    I think the Islanders should move out of the state completely. Perhaps Quebec City or Seattle or Kansas City? Those towns can support a hockey team. It isn’t the $30 seats that maintain the team, it’s the corporate sales and luxury boxes. There’s just not enough corporate sponsorship or companies willing to spend the money in Long Island to keep the business afloat anymore. MSG is convenient to office employees from NYC, LI and NJ because they’re right on top of the subway, LIRR and NJT. NYC is where the big buck companies are and it’s where their clients want to be entertained.

    Let the team go, update the Coliseum and grab an AHL team!

  • Matt

    I’ll take the Islanders wherever I can get them,just don’t take them away from me.

  • Rov

    “It’s a sad reality, but tiny local franchises that serve a small community just can’t survive in today’s big money corporate sports world”

    Really? If they are good people will come. GREEN BAY has a pro team.

    But that’s beside the point. Nassau County, and particularly the Town of Hempstead, is densely populated and fully capable of supporting a pro sports team. NASSAU COUNTY HAS MORE THAN TWICE THE POPULATION OF VERMONT! In case you haven’t noticed the county is also affluent. Nothing “little” about suburban Hempstead.

  • rob

    Why is everyone so high on moving them to Queens?? Does the NY area really need another arena? The obvious choice is to move the team to Brooklyn and share the arena with the Nets. This place would be way easier to get to then Nassau or Queens.

    • Nick Colombo

      The problem with the arena in Brooklyn is it isnt designed for hockey. Now obviously a rink could be squeezed in there. But the amount of seats it would take up would make the location unfavorable to the team and the NHL. As for QUeens, the entire area next to Citifield is being made into a massive economic development area. A deal between Wang and the WIlpons could create not only arena, but give them both access to owning all the additional retail space in the area, and make everybody very rich. Im guessing thats the plan. Follow the money

  • Tom

    Agree 100%. I’ve been saying this for 5 years that the only way NYI will ever be relevant and win is to move to Queens. More media, more corporate sponsorship, mass transit and more access to fans in Queens. Hempstead can’t compete any more. Hockey in the suburbs was fine in the 70’s and 80’s but since free agency in the 90’s it’s a big business and revenue/exposure that can only be obtained in the city not the suburbs. Name the last really sexy free agent that NYI have signed since the mid 90’s.

  • Joey

    As a Ranger’s fan, I’d hate for the Icelanders to leave the metro area. Some of my fondest hockey memories date back to the late 70’s and 80’s when they were winning all those cups. It was tough being a Ranger’s fan back then because everyone jumped onto the Icelanders bandwagon. l loved the heated rivalry and I told them that the Rangers would have their day in the sun. I personally know a few of their loyal fans; these guys have stuck with that team thru thick and thin. They should make a deal to build an arena in Queens and this Ranger’s fan will attend a few games, for sure!

    • George Lurye

      Joey, true Rangers fans know that the rivalry’s in Newark now. Hop a PATH train and cheer for the Blue Shirts in hell! The 80’s… that’s about 30 years ago my friend. Time to update the vision and the hairdo.

  • biily b

    please move this storied franchise to Queens !!!

  • denis potvin

    I care if they stay and I am a Ny Rangers fan,Hockey is dying sport and we need the islanders,my question is what happen to all those fans in the 1980s when they were sold out every game,They couldn’t have all died.It wasnt that long ago.Potvin sucks

    • George Lurye

      The fans are still there. The business of hockey is not the same anymore. You can’t keep afloat by selling $20 and $30 tickets anymore. The rich don’t go to these games either because their companies have “free” tickets for them and their clients at MSG. Those tickets are like $250 each. Plus the luxury boxes at MSG are sold out to corporates too. Those bring in thousands! Long Island can’t match that. NJ is lucky to have had recent corporate development in Jersey City and Newark and the PATH, which brings them all to the game. Jersey City skyline rivals any major city’s now!

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