NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If you’re watching an Islanders game at Barclays Center and have an obstructed view of the action, the arena’s CEO has a suggestion: Watch it on your cellphone or on the scoreboard.
That was the answer given by Brett Yormark when asked by Sports Illustrated about obstructed-view seats at the Islanders’ new home arena.
“Do we have some obstructed seats? Yes we do,” Yormark said in a Q&A published Wednesday. “Are fans aware of those obstructed seats before they purchase them? Yes they are. There’s really nothing we’re going to do from a capital improvement standpoint. You can watch the game on your mobile device. The game is on the scoreboard. There are many ways to view the game if you’re in one of those obstructed seats. We aren’t going to be able to change the seats in the building. That is what it is.”
There are hundreds of limited-view seats for hockey at Barclays. Some fans have complained about not being able to see a corner of the ice or the goal closest to them.
“Our seating capacity is over 15,700,” Yormark said. “Within that capacity there’s a lot of great seats.”
The Sports Illustrated article focused on the challenges the Islanders have faced since moving to Brooklyn from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Yormark said the Islanders have had to market differently to Long Island and Brooklyn residents — in Long Island, they’ve tried to play up that the team’s traditions live on in a new arena, while in Brooklyn they’re trying to sell people on hockey.
“I look at Brooklyn right now as a casual fan base that we need to continue to ignite,” Yormark said. “We’re doing that by humanizing the players, getting them out into the community. And then obviously coming out and experiencing it live. The first step is getting them into the building.”
The Islanders rank 28th out of the NHL’s 30 teams in home attendance, at 13,218, down more than 2,000 people per game from what they drew last season in Uniondale. Yormark, however, said attendance has climbed 23 percent since the first nine games.