Move by Islanders will create Brooklyn jobs, officials say

October 25, 2012 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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The New York Islanders scored a goal with the announcement that the team is moving from Nassau County to Brooklyn, according to business leaders, who predicted that the presence of the hockey team will create jobs in and around the Barclays Center where they will be playing their games.

The Islanders, who have been playing at the Nassau Coliseum for their entire 40-year existence, will move to Brooklyn in 2015 and will play its home games at the Barclays Center. The team has entered into a 25-year agreement to play in Brooklyn.

Carlo Scissura, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, said the big news comes “just when Brooklyn couldn’t get any hotter!”

The hockey team’s relocation “will create more jobs for Brooklynites,” said Scissura, who added that the announcement “truly puts icing on the cake for the borough.”

The Barclays Center was already generating a great deal of excitement due to the presence of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team as well as its role as a concert hall featuring performances by superstars like Jay Z and Barbra Streisand. “This completes the hat trick of events for the Barclays Center with the Nets, an outstanding concert series, and now the New York Islanders,” Scissura said.

The announcement was made Oct. 24 at the Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn. New York Islanders Owner Charles B. Wang, Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Borough President Marty Markowitz, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman, Islanders GeneralManager Garth Snow, and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark were all on hand for the big day.

“When I first campaigned for borough president, I made the promise that I would bring a major league sports team to Brooklyn. But never, in my wildest dreams, did I think we would be home to both the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Islanders,” Markowitz said at the announcement.

“It won’t be a long journey for the Islanders; after all, Brooklyn is where Long Island begins, and Nassau County is just a short Zamboni ride away from the big stage of Brooklyn and the Barclays Center. With the Nets and the Islanders, Brooklyn is beginning a dominant power play,” Markowitz said.

U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Staten Island), who played hockey as a boy, said the Islanders will be an inspiration to young people. “So many kids growing up in Brooklyn never had an ice rink – so they played hockey in the streets. And now they’ll have a world class stadium. I enthusiastically welcome the Islanders to the neighborhood,” he said.

Grimm boldly predicted that the Islanders will win the National Hockey League championship and hockey’s most coveted prize – the Stanley Cup – after they move here. “In Brooklyn we go hard, and if there’s any place to make the Islanders a championship team, it’s here,” he said.

The Islanders last won the Stanley Cup in 1983.

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