Hockey carries an arcane culture and the Islanders boast a rich history, and the team’s longtime fans are the only ones fluent in both. They’re an indispensable resource for Yormark and his team, a sounding board for their various ideas, and BC executives have engaged the fans – if grudgingly so – to positive effect.
...When Barclays Center introduced a new MTA-inspired goal horn during preseason, the fans quickly petitioned to bring the old one back. When fans were told they needed a special ticket to watch warm-ups from the glass – a Nassau Coliseum routine – they clamored for more access. And when the team’s longtime mascot, Sparky the Dragon, was dismissed from duty, the fans rallied for his return.
By the Islanders’ home opener, that bellowing horn from Nassau Coliseum was back in service. Sparky made his return shortly thereafter, grinning his toothy smile as if he had never left. And though it took time, and a stiff refusal to compromise, the fans eventually recovered the right to watch warm-ups from wherever they so please. Good for them.
Through it all, Yormark has downplayed the fans’ influence on his decisions.
Monday, February 15, 2016
Will Burchfield offers a nice summary on The Hockey Writers, Isles Fans Becoming Voice of the Underdog, suggesting that Barclays Center managers have reversed decisions in the face of fan protest. Some excerpts: