The Islanders, who signed a 25-year lease in Brooklyn, said that they would keep the team’s name and logo although the latter promise might be kind of hard considering that Brooklyn is not on Long Island on the Islanders’ logo.
It’s a bitter move for the people of Long Island, who can at least take solace in the fact that the team hasn’t left New York and are still a LIRR ride away. But for Brooklyn hockey fans, who have never had an NHL team, it is certainly an exciting announcement.
“The whole world knows Brooklyn is big time and now we have the big league sports to prove it,” said Bloomberg at the press conference to announce the move.
Brooklyn has been rumored to be a possible landing spot for the Islanders for quite some time with Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner declaring just two months ago that he was trying very hard to convince them. However, the fact that the new arena is only built to fit 14,500 fans during a hockey game was seen as a potential hurdle. However, that wasn’t a deal breaker and Gary Bettman said that the arena will eventually be fitted to fit 15,000.
“It [a smaller arena] is not an issue,” Bettman Larry Brooks of the NY Post. “Winnipeg is doing quite well in a building about the same size.”
Brooklyn nearly had an NHL team back in the 1940′s when the New York Americans changed their name to the Brooklyn American for the 1941/42 season, but they only practiced in Brooklyn and played their home games at MSG. They intended to eventually build an arena, but the team was suspended because of WWII and was not reinstated afterward.