A new hockey stadium may rise right next to Citi Field in Queens, Bloomberg reports. The New York Islanders are rumored to be considering a move from their current home at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to Willets Point in Queens. This is in large part due to the problems that arose during the first season that the team played at the Barclays Center.
Fans complained that several seats had obstructed views, and players complained that the quality of the ice was not good enough. Now, Bloomberg has learned that the owners of the Islanders are speaking with the owners of the New York Mets to build an arena next to Citi Field.
The hockey arena at the Barclays Center is relatively small compared to other National Hockey League arenas across the country. The Center has 15,700 seats, but of those about 1,500 have obstructed views. This may have contributed to the fact that attendance was down 11 percent from the previous year with an average attendance per game of 13,626 fans.
Prior to its move to the Barclays Center, the Islanders were stationed at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, and had been there since 1972. After being unable to secure enough funds to build a new arena at that site, the previous owner decided to move the team to Brooklyn.
But it appears that the current owners of the team and the owners of the Barclays Center are not being able to agree on changes to improve the hockey experience there, and as a result a move may be imminent.
Where exactly an arena like this might be located in Willets Point remains to be seen as there’s a massive planned redevelopment of the neighborhood in the works, which has been mired in legal troubles, and most recently news emerged that the area might be used for parking during the renovation of LaGuardia Airport.
- NHL’s Islanders Are Considering a Move to Queens With Mets Help [Bloomberg]
- Disputed Willets Point Megaproject Gets City Council's Blessing [Curbed]