The lockout may have cancelled their attempt to christen Barclays Center with a preseason hockey game last fall, but the New York Islanders announced Tuesday that they'll play the first NHL game at their future Brooklyn home against the New Jersey Devils on Sept. 21, 2013.
It's the same matchup that was canceled due to the lockout, this time with the added bonus of knowing that the Isles are planning to permanently move to Barclays Center for the start of the 2015-16 NHL season. When the canceled game was originally scheduled, speculation ramped up that the team was looking at Brooklyn as a long-term relocation option. The team then announced the planned move at a press conference during the lockout in October.
"We are delighted to give Brooklyn a sneak peak at its future hometown NHL team this September as we welcome the Islanders to Barclays Center for the first time," arena CEO Brett Yormark said. "There's a lot of excitement about professional hockey bound for Brooklyn, where the Islanders have a terrific opportunity to grow their fan base and build their brand."
There are big questions surrounding Barclays Center as a hockey venue. A hockey game has never been played in the building, which was not designed with the sport in mind. Most notably, a hockey rink cannot fit on the floor of the basketball-first arena without removing several vast swaths of seating which could impact sight lines and the overall fan atmosphere. The Sept. preseason game between the Islanders and Devils will be our first chance to see just how Barclays handles a hockey game.
Tickets for the game will be made available to Islanders season ticket holders and Brooklyn Nets season ticket holders during an April 11 presale. They'll go on sale to the general public beginning April 17.