It was a long journey from the last days of the original Nassau Coliseum and the Charles Wang era to now, but the New York Islanders (NHL) are finally playing at a new home, UBS Arena.
We’ve been following the Islanders arena saga since the very beginning, when then-owner Wang first pursued the doomed Lighthouse development, followed by a sale of the team and a move to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. That, too, was a doomed move; the arena was not designed for hockey, so the Islanders dealt with a subpar ice surface and plenty of obstructed-view seats, much to the chagrin of fans who a) hated the experience and b) who lived in Long Island and had no intention of heading to Brooklyn for an NHL game.
But all of that is in the rear-view mirror now with the opening of UBS Arena. From the New York Post’s Molly Walker:
An era when the Islanders have one of the most extravagant arenas in the NHL. A building that is fit to serve as home base for a team that has made it to the Stanley Cup semifinals in the past two seasons. A new home that was built for the fans.
That much was evident by the impossible-to-miss “Welcome Home” mural painted on the wall next to the escalators to the upper concourse. But what else would you expect from Jon Ledecky, a man who’s known as a fan’s owner.
This is the second high-profile arena opening this season; we’re hoping to get to both UBS Arena and Climate Pledge Arena this winter.
Photo courtesy New York Islanders.
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