NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 05: The Barclay Center, a sports arena and future home of the National Basketball Association's New Jersey Nets, is seen under construction on March 5, 2012 at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The stadium is scheduled to open September 28, 2012; the New Jersey Nets will be renamed the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Hockey At Brooklyn's Barclays Center: Building Will Host KHL Regular Season, NHL Preseason

Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be the home of the NBA's Nets, but despite questions of how sightlines will work for hockey, the New York Islanders are considering the building as their next home and the KHL will play regular season games there.

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KHL To Play Regular Season Games At Brooklyn's Barclays Center

Kontinental Hockey League president Alexander Medvedev said Monday that his league will play regular season games at the under-construction Barclays Center in the heart of Brooklyn, according to a report in SovSport.

Yahoo!'s Puck Daddy blog featured a translation of Medvedev's comments regarding the KHL's first presentation in front of a North American audience.

"We decided that when the basketball club [the New Jersey Nets, owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov] finishes building its arena in Brooklyn, KHL Legends Game and regular season games will be held there. We are continuing to improve the relationship between the KHL and the NHL. I am hoping that the situation with [Alex] Radulov will not spoil it."

Gary Bettman and the NHL are apparently on board with the KHL attempting to promote its product in North America, and Brooklyn makes sense for the KHL in more ways than one.

Nets owner Prokhorov is Russian and has deep ties in the business community there, and he's also a major investor in the new Brooklyn arena. There's also a large Russian and Ukrainian population in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay, so the audience is certainly there for the KHL.

Barclays Center was not built for hockey and thus has a substantially smaller capacity with an ice rink installed than when set up for basketball, but the New York Islanders will play a preseason game there this fall. It's possible that the Islanders will move into the building permanently at some point, but that process still has plenty of variables involved.


New York Islanders To Play Preseason Game At Brooklyn's Barclays Center

The New York Islanders need a new arena. Brooklyn has a new arena, except it's not quite designed for hockey. But hey, might as well test it out and see how it goes, right? That's the implied logic at play when Charles Wang sends his team to Barclays Center, still under construction in downtown Brooklyn, for a preseason NHL game in October.

The team announced Tuesday that they'll play the New Jersey Devils on October 2 at the new building, and in the process, they made sure they accentuated all the positives of the state-of-the-art arena. Barclay's Center CEO Brett Yormark certainly made his opinion of the Islanders known, too.

"We feel Brooklyn is an untapped hockey market that offers the Islanders with an exciting opportunity to grow its fan base," Yormark said in the press release. "Barclays Center will also afford current Islander fans with great accessibility, as the Long Island Rail Road and nine subway lines will come directly to the arena at the Atlantic Terminal transit hub."

Yormark's building was built for the New Jersey Nets of the NBA, but it's part of his job to make sure it's filled as often as possible throughout the year. An NHL team calling it home goes a long way towards that goal, and the one true weakness of the Nassau Coliseum location at which the Islanders currently reside is the lack of public transportation. There's a reason Yormark mentioned the transit hub at the door step of Barclays Center, and this is likely why.

He's also not shying away from the fact that he'd love the Islanders to call Brooklyn their next home, telling Chris Botta of the New York Times that he'd love Wang and the Islanders to consider Barclay's as an option for relocation. Meanwhile, Nassau County Executive Charles Mangano is brushing aside the idea of the Islanders leaving his county, a threat symbolized in this preseason game in Brooklyn.

Islanders blog Lighthouse Hockey explained this whole situation best on Tuesday:

Charles Wang owns a team but needs an arena -- ideally one that grows his club's revenues. The Nets gang owns an arena and a team but would like more ways to fill that arena for their revenues. Nassau County owns an arena but no team and sort of needs a new arena or, at minimum, a clue about how to develop a property and answer a question they've punted for only five decades or so. Also: politics.

Where everything stands once the music stops, we don't know and won't know for some time. But for now, this is another necessary beat in the song. And it's totally by a band you've never heard of.


New York Islanders Future In Limbo: Is Brooklyn's Barclays Center An Option?

Technically speaking, Brooklyn is on Long Island  -- like, it's physically on the island. Long Island University even has a campus in Brooklyn, too. Just don't tell somebody from the borough that they're a Long Islander, because you're likely to get punched in the face for that. Culturally, the two places couldn't be much different. 

It raises an interesting option for the New York Islanders, however, in the wake of the refusal by Nassau County voters on Monday to allow the government to take out bonds to build a new hockey arena for the team.

Could they move to Brooklyn? More specifically, could they move to Barclays Center, the new $800 million building at Atlantic & Flatbush Avenues that the NBA's New Jersey Nets will soon call home? We don't know what Charles Wang will do with his team next -- he could try to sell the team or he could try again to build an arena on the Coliseum site or he could opt for relocation, whether that be in the New York metro or elsewhere.

If selling is his top option, it doesn't appear as though the move to Brooklyn is in the cards. A spokesperson for Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov told SB Nation's NetsDaily on Tuesday that the eccentric billionaire is not interested in purchasing any other sports teams, eliminating any hope that he could buy the team and put them in his new building.

But if Wang held on to the team and tried to move them to Brooklyn, the Barclays Center itself could be a bit of an obstacle. Nets CEO Brett Yormark released a statement on Tuesday saying the following, via NetsDaily:

"Barclays Center will have an ice rink that can support professional hockey," Yormark said in an email that followed Prokhorov's by minutes. "Due to the venue's design, the capacity for hockey would be several thousand seats less than for basketball. While we hope to explore hockey opportunities in the future, our primary focus at the moment is to build the best sports and entertainment venue in the world."    

Renderings of the new arena do show that it's a bit of an odd specimen, and it doesn't look like it will ever have the ideal set up for hockey. There's going to be a gorgeous new arena in downtown Brooklyn come the late summer and early fall of 2012, but it doesn't appear as though it's an ideal option for the future of the New York Islanders. 

For more on the Isles, be sure to head over to SB Nation's Lighthouse Hockey, where they're all over the depression and the anxiety of Monday's failed vote. 

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