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Volume 26 No. 25
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Islanders' Issues At Barclays Center Continue, With Ice "Unplayable" On Friday Night

Islanders RW Cal Clutterbuck after the team's game against the Coyotes on Friday called the ice surface at Barclays Center "unplayable" in the third period, according to Arthur Staple of NEWSDAY. Clutterbuck: "The ice was real bouncy ... so there wasn't much to do but throw it on net." He added, "From about the 5-6 minute mark of the second, you knew it was one of those nights. You basically couldn't string three passes together, the ice was unplayable" (NEWSDAY, 10/22). In N.Y., Larry Brooks wrote the Barclays Center ice "continues to be sub-standard despite everything progressive ownership can do." The ice will "ultimately render" Barclays Center "ill-suited to be the home of the Islanders for the long term." Islanders co-Owner Jon Ledecky and the team's ownership "have the obligation to seek an arena of their own for this NHL stepchild, as they have over the last few months in conducting due diligence on alternate sites, and most prominently ... the Citi Field parking lot." Sources said that Islanders ownership has "held meetings with folks representing" real estate company Sterling Equities, which owns the Mets, to "discuss constructing an arena on what would be the third base/left field area of the parking lot." However, it is "unclear how this project would be financed." It is "all but impossible to believe a one-team arena" for which the area -- that features MSG, Barclays, Prudential Center and a remodeled Nassau Coliseum -- "has no need could draw any support for public funding, regardless of how necessary new digs are for the Islanders." The Islanders have "tried with Barclays and so, to an extent, has the building's administration" (N.Y. POST, 10/23). Longtime NHL observer Chris Botta cited an NHL source as saying that the floor piping system at Barclays "does not meet NHL standard requirements for ice-making." Barclays has "PVC piping," while all other NHL rinks "have steel pipes." PVC "cannot maintain ideal temp of 21 degrees for NHL play" (TWITTER.com, 10/22). 

KEEPING IT LOCAL: Brooklyn-based Park Slope Fifth Ave. Business Improvement District Exec Dir Mark Caserta and other local business owners said that the Islanders have "provided more business for the area" around Barclays Center than concerts or basketball games. In N.Y., Alison Fox noted if the team were to leave the arena, it would be "bad news for some businesses who are looking forward to the boost from another hockey season." Michael McMahon, who owns McMahon's Public House on Fifth Avenue, said that Islanders fans "tend to show up two or three hours before the games." McMahon: "They're great fans and they're a great crowd that comes around. They're great sports fans. They seem to just come to enjoy themselves. For business they're fantastic." Some local shops "reported up to a 20% increase in business from Islanders fans" through May '16 (AMNY.com, 10/23).