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Bettman: Brooklyn Would Be Hard For Islanders Fans

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (AP) — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says Brooklyn may not be a viable potential destination for the New York Islanders because it’s hard to reach for the team’s fan base in Long Island and Queens.

Bettman reiterated Friday that the league ideally wanted the club to remain in Nassau County. The Islanders plan to leave outdated Nassau Coliseum after their lease expires in 2015.

Nassau voters rejected a $400 million referendum last year for a new arena.

Bettman said at an Associated Press Sports Editors meeting that the league was helping the Islanders explore their options “in the metropolitan area” and that moving the team to outside New York was not currently being considered.

The Islanders will play the New Jersey Devils in an exhibition this fall at the new Barclays Center, the future home of the NBA’s Nets. January’s announcement of that game sparked talk of the club relocating to Brooklyn.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)