NEW YORK (WFAN) — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman isn’t so sure Brooklyn would be a viable destination for the New York Islanders.
Well, tell that to Brett Yormark, CEO of the Nets and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment.
Yormark told WFAN’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton that the borough’s new Barclays Center would be able to boast “close to” 15,000 seats — make that “great seats” — for hockey. On top of that, the Islanders could enjoy “a built-in fan base.”
“So far the feedback we’ve got has been extremely positive,” Yormark said Monday morning. “You’ve got the Long Island Rail Road coming to the foot of the building, we’re very accessible to the fan base that currently exists, and we’re excited about the possibilities. We’re exploring it. You know, we’re discussing it internally and I think it’s viable.”
LISTEN: Yormark with Boomer & Carton
It’ll be put to the test on Oct. 2, when the Islanders host an exhibition against the Devils in Brooklyn. Yormark said more than 6,000 tickets were sold in the first two weeks.
“We can accommodate hockey, NHL-quality hockey at the Barclays Center,” Yormark said. “We’re very excited about it.”
Last week, Bettman told The Associated Press that, ideally, the franchise would remain in Nassau County. Voters rejected a pricey referendum last August to build a new hockey arena to replace the aged Nassau Coliseum, which the team plans to leave after their lease expires in 2015.
The Nets, meanwhile, will play their last game in New Jersey on Monday night. Yormark gave fans of the Brooklyn-bound club a little something to look forward to next week.
“Next Monday, on (April) 30th, we’ll unveil our new logo, our new identity, our team colors,” he said. “Merchandise will be available in-market as of next Monday.”
Merchandise that he said would suit Boomer & Carton well.
“You’re gonna look real good,” Yormark told the morning show duo. “It’s gonna look real nice on you.”
Do you think the Isles should break toward Brooklyn? Sound off below…