According to several sports experts in a Brooklyn paper interview the layout of the Barclays Center would not be an issue for the Islanders.
Still, some sports experts say the under-construction arena on Flatbush and Atlantic avenues remains the leading option for the squad, claiming the cramped quarters and odd seating arrangement may benefit a team that only averaged 11,000 spectators per game last year.http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/35/20/all_horseshoearena_2012_05_18_bk.html
“It eliminates some very viable seats especially in the lower half of the venue,” said Ray Katz, a managing partner of Source1 Sports and Flatbush native who teaches sports management at Columbia University. “But it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for that team to have limited seating. It would still be a great thing for Brooklyn.”
The team could even turn lemons into iced lemonade by using some of the arena’s dead space to sell ads and merchandise, Katz said.
“There’s other ways to generate revenue from that side of the arena,” said Katz.
The horseshoe-shaped seating configuration might make the stadium look empty on TV — and its effects could be felt on the ice as well.
During games, one goalie would face fans across the rink while the other would look out onto an empty space behind the opposing net — similar to the center field backdrop in baseball — that could cut down on distractions, said sports consultant Michael Neuman.
“They’ll have to deal with any limitations the Barclays Center has,” said Neuman, the managing partner of Scout Sports and Entertainment, a consulting agency.
Nets spokesman Barry Baum confirmed the seating arrangement, but declined to provide further details.
“We have to see how all the sight lines are and then we’ll move forward,” Baum said.
Arena developer Bruce Ratner has long courted the Islanders. Hockey was originally considered for the arena but the plans were scuttled after Barclays Center’s starchitect Frank Gehry was fired in 2009 and his proposed design was scraped to cut costs.
In January, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he found it hard to believe that a deal couldn’t be hammered out to keep the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. But last month Bettman told the AP that the Barclays Center is a viable alternative.
While the Barclays Center may be flawed in many ways it still seems like the most likely option for the Islanders to stay in New York. Plus Bruce Ratner has already stated that more seats could be used if the Islanders were to move to the arena full time. Many of those seats would be consider obstructed, since the near board would be unenviable, but the Barclays Center is positive they can make it work and increase the 14,500 seat capacity. It is still too early to tell if we will ever find out if the Barcalys Center could be a home for an NHL team, but if something isn't put together soon we may very will find out the answer.