After two unceremonious seasons, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center is reportedly planning to kick the New York Islanders to the curb.
According to Bloomberg, the Brooklyn arena, which houses the Nets and is one of the highest-grossing concert venues in the world, has determined it will make more money from concerts than it currently does from its hockey team. The Islanders currently have the third worst attendance in the NHL.
“Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who owns the building and the Nets, has since November been seeking an investor to take a stake in both. As of earlier this month, a financial projection shared with potential investors showed the Islanders won’t contribute any revenue after the 2018-19 season — a clear signal that the team won’t play there, the people said.”
Barclays Center, which opened in 2012, was not designed to house a hockey team. As such, certain views of the ice from the stands during Islanders games are obstructed, and players often complain about subpar ice quality.
As Bloomberg notes, the deal between the arena and the team makes for a potentially messy break-up. Barclays Center pays the team an average of $53.5 million annually in exchange for control of the business, though either side can cancel the lease. If the Islanders cancel, the team can leave after next season. If the arena cancels, the team wouldn’t vacate the stadium until after the 2018-19 season.
It’s unclear where the Islanders will play, assuming they do move out of Barclays Center in the coming season. Bloomberg reported in July that team owners were considering a new stadium adjacent to Citi Field in Queens.