Is it too soon to call the New York Islanders' move to Brooklyn a disaster?
In spite of having what should have been plenty of lead time for the team and the Barclays Center folks to get their act together, the move from Long Island has been fraught with criticism and complaints.
What should have been a period of celebration as the team moved out of the rundown Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum instead has many pining for a return to the crumbling monolith. Go figure.
Let’s not overly romanticize what life was like for the Islanders and their fans before the move. The team needed desperately to find a new home, and it did. Unfortunately for all concerned, it seems fans for the most part hate the new digs, with its obstructed views and tangled traffic options.
Last season, the Islanders averaged 15,334 in home attendance (94.8 percent capacity), which ranked 25th in the league. Some of that was driven by the emotional draw of the team's final season on Long Island. (The previous season, they averaged 14,740, or 93.4 percent capacity, for 26th in the NHL.)
This season, eight home games into their new life in Brooklyn, a time when you might have expected attendance to peak because of the novelty factor, the Isles are averaging 12,070 per home date, 29th in the league and a minuscule 76.3 percent of capacity.
Did we mention disaster? The question now is: How does this gets fixed and how quickly can it happen? But maybe the better question is: If it can’t be fixed, what's next?