NEW YORK (WFAN) – If the Islanders can’t stay in Nassau County, where will they go?
Barclays Center developer and Nets minority owner Bruce Ratner hopes they’ll continue to skate right here in New York.
“I would hope that’s possible,” Ratner told Bloomberg TV’s “In the Loop” on Thursday, according to the New York Post. “It depends on a lot of things. It depends on whether the Islanders want to come. It depends on whether they have different choices.”
The Islanders’ options are running out. The Lighthouse Project has gone dark. And residents voted down a referendum in August that would have renovated the Coliseum — and kept the NHL franchise in Nassau County.
Unless the club figures something out, owner Charles Wang will likely be forced to vacate Nassau Coliseum when his team’s lease expires in 2015.
So why not Kings County?
“I think it is highly likely there won’t be a new arena built in Nassau County with the current state of the economy,” Ratner said. “So I think there is certainly a chance (for Brooklyn).”
The Barclays Center, set to open in September 2012, has been a hotly rumored home for the Islanders. One problem: it would hold the least amount of seats in the NHL.
Only about 14,500 fans would be able to show up to watch newly-extended star John Tavares, according to The Post. The MTS Center in Winnipeg has a capacity of 15,015. Once the Jets begin regular season play this season it will become the smallest arena in the league.
“The Barclays Center will have an ice rink that can support professional hockey,” Nets CEO Brett Yormark said in a statement last month. “Due to the venue’s design, the capacity for hockey would be several thousand seats less than for basketball. While we hope to explore hockey opportunities in the future, our primary focus is to build the best sports and entertainment venue in the world.”
Should the Islanders bolt for Brooklyn? Be heard in the comments below…