Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Barclays Center's off-center hockey layout will be a tougher sell than hoops (but, fans say, it's better than Quebec)

The Barclays Center, in its current incarnation, was downsized to a tight, basketball-centric design from a building aimed to accommodate both major league basketball and major league hockey.

Then arena operators got lucky, when the arena--with luxury suites, public transit access, and the opportunity to maintain a lucrative TV contract--became the best destination for the New York Islanders after Nassau Coliseum voters nixed a new arena.

Now Barclays Center operator are trying to manage expectations in anticipation of a 2015 (or sooner) move of the team. 

Islanders PointBlank on June 18 posted a photo montage of the hockey set up tweeted by the Barclays Center and wrote:
As mentioned on this blog last week, the scoreboard is off-center and looks like it is over one of the bluelines. The photo also sheds a little light on what will happen in the end zone where things get a little tight. It looks as though — unless things change — there will be no seats behind the glass on the lower level on that end (the empty section in the second tier is supposed to be like that, even for basketball games). It also seems like the upper bowl on that side will have an awfully hard time seeing the near net, but I guess we won’t know for sure until September.
A negative but pragmatic response

Many people commenting on the hockey blog (as further noted by NetsDaily and Meadowlands Matters) were negative, but others were pragmatic, saying it was the best alternative. Meadowlands Matters' John Brennan advised to wait and see til the first pre-season game.

Some of those comments on the hockey blog:
As a former season ticket holder, this is a total embarrassment. So typical Islanders, frankly. So amateur.

If the islanders announced they were moving to Quebec, the same people complaining would die for them to be playing in this setup in Brooklyn
In just looking at the photos, this hockey setup looks ridiculous. Some seats it looks like you will be staring into the ear of the person in front of you. Some sections almost look photo-shopped to squeeze in seats. Better than KC or Quebec? Sure. But before we know it this will not be our Islanders anymore. It is such a shame.
They will make income from luxury suites so basically they don't give a damn what we think or how we see the game. that's what is stopping them.
I was there for a Paul McCartney concert a coupla weeks ago. Seats in the upper level were very tight as far as legroom goes. When people tried to pass by you had to stand, which is not that unusual, BUT even standing you had to suck it all in to avoid contact. A little uncomfortable, yet not a show-stopper. As I was casing the joint out for hockey I felt that some of the upper corner seats will be disappointing...I can't see how some angles will be able to see the goalie below.
I made my first trip to Barclays last Saturday for a concert and I came away very impressed. The amenities and luxuries of a modern arena were excellent. The place looks great inside, great spots for food and drinks, and the seating area looked great. I could see the upper deck seats being a little tight in terms of height and looking down on the ice, but even so, most of the seats are tight to the floor and I could envision how loud the place will get when packed. I wish they had more room on that one end of the ice, and i do think they will create some movable bleachers to bring fans to the glass, but I'm excited for the potential. The place is also set up very well for mass transit (took only 30 min on the subway from times sq.). Everywhere you looked they were advertising the Devils/Islanders preseason game as well. Just please stay away from the blue and orange.

The average fan could care less for these luxuries. if you want to socialize, go to a bar. I rather have a hockey arena with great seating and eat McDonald's after the game. I wouldn't give Yormak and wang my money any other way.
Just giving you my experience from this past weekend. Good for you though for fighting the system. Sports are a business first and foremost, remember that.
Why do people care where the scoreboard is? Most of the clowns I see at games are looking at their 2x3 inch phone screen through 2/3 of the games anyway. Does this affect the team? Probably not. Yeah, it's a little weird not having fans behind the goalie, but that ruins your view of the team? Worry about the on-ice product, not the seating arrangement.

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