Islanders, Devils Will Play First NHL Game At Barclays Center In Preseason Matchup
The Islanders and Devils will play the first NHL game at the Barclays Center on Oct. 2 at 7:30pm ET. The preseason game will also mark the first hockey event at the new Brooklyn arena (Islanders). In N.Y., Liz Robbins notes the Islanders are scheduled to play in the exhibition game "perhaps to test the ice for a future move." Islanders Owner Charles Wang for several years has been "pushing for significant upgrades to the 40-year-old Coliseum or for a new building when the Islanders’ lease expires, in 2015." Nets and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said, "We would love for Charles to consider Brooklyn.” Yormark added that the Nets "had not inquired about ownership of the Islanders or any other" NHL franchise. Barclays Center, under the "original design of Frank Gehry, was configured to accommodate professional hockey." But when Gehry was "replaced by SHoP Architects and the company now known as Aecom, hockey became an afterthought." Now, the developer of the arena and the surrounding Atlantic Yards site, Forest City Ratner Companies, "is adjusting to make the arena suitable for hockey" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/1). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Scott Cacciola notes Barclays Center "will have a capacity of 14,500 for hockey, which would make it the smallest arena in the NHL" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/1). Yormark said that there are "no issues with changing the arena over from basketball or other events to hockey." He added, "You always have to take that first step. This is a good first step" (NEWSDAY, 2/1). Devils President, CEO & GM Lou Lamoriello said, "It was really the Islanders' choice because it's their home game. We honored it. We certainly have no issue with it. It's probably closer for us than Long Island." He added, "I'm sure it's also a test to see how Long Island people respond" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 2/1).