Two years ago, Evgeny Kuznetsov closed the Coliseum. Now, after owning the third-worst attendance in the NHL, the Islanders are reportedly getting dumped by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov and the Barclays Center.
According to Bloomberg News, the arena believes it would make more money without the Islanders and having the Brooklyn Nets — one of the NBA’s top grossing franchise — as its only major tenant.
The Barclays-Islanders agreement is unusual, in that the arena pays the team an average of $53.5 million a year in exchange for control of business operations, which includes revenue from ticket and suite sales.
The lease can be terminated by either the Islanders or arena management. If the team cancels, it can leave after next season. If Barclays Center nixes the deal, then the Islanders’ tenancy would end after the 2018-19 season. Then the question becomes: Where will the Islanders play?
Ever since the Islanders arrived in Brooklyn, there have been complaints from fans, including obstructed-view seats. Longtime season-ticket holders also complained about the extra travel. The bus elevator was dope though.
Since November, Prokhorov has tried and failed to find an investor to buy a stake in the arena and the Brooklyn Nets.
Newsday explained how the Islanders or Barclays Center could opt out of the 25-year lease in September.
After the Islanders finish their second season in Brooklyn, the two sides have until Jan. 1, 2018, to renegotiate the terms of the current deal. If no new deal is reached, the two sides can stay with the current deal or choose to opt out.
Each side would have until Jan. 30, 2018, to deliver an opt-out notice in writing.
During All-Star Weekend, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman commented on the Islanders and their arena woes.
“Well, the owners are committed to the franchise. They’re committed to New York and the great fan base that has followed the Islanders,” Bettman said, according to Yahoo!’s Puck Daddy. “There are some issues about playing in Barclays. It may be fundamental to the system, and that’s not something that can be fixed in the short term. I think as is prudent, (new owners) Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky are reviewing the situation and looking very seriously at what their options are.
Ledecky and Malkin are considering building a brand new arena either besides Citi Field in Queens or near Belmont Park.
But all of this makes me wonder what the Barclays’ opt-out letter might say. I’m guessing: “Roses are red, the Islanders are blue. Garbage is dumped, now so are you.”
Headline photo: New York Islanders
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.