The New York Islanders may play in a familiar arena while their new arena at Belmont Park is being built. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly has stated that the league would be open to the idea of the Isles skating at Nassau Coliseum, their home between 1972 and 2015, while they wait for their new home to be completed.
Daly spoke with Newsday about the Islanders’ arenas, saying that he “wouldn’t rule it out as a possibility” regarding the team going back to their old building.
Currently, the Islanders plan to play the 2018-19 season at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, as stated in their current lease. Beyond that, the Isles would be free to temporarily return to the Coliseum before shifting to Belmont Park.
A representative from Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment said that the Coliseum is “prepared to facilitate any necessary enhancements” in order to bring the Islanders back temporarily.
Should the Islanders return to the Coliseum, they will find it’s not quite how they left it. For starters, it’s now named NYCB Live and it reopened in March of 2017 following a needed renovation costing $165 million.
With the Barclays Center sitting as a pretty horrible destination to watch or play a hockey game, a move back to the old Coliseum seems likely. The Islanders, and their fans, have put up with bad ice and some crazy-bad sightlines during their stay. A return to Long Island would be a welcome change until their new home in Belmont Park is ready.