Skip to main content

As Islanders go to second round of playoffs, neighborhood braces for noise and disruption

So the New York Islanders, by far the better home team at the Barclays Center, have made it to the second round of the National Hockey League playoffs. That means 7 pm home games against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday May 3 and Friday May 6, with a possible game on Tuesday May 10 if the series goes six games.
It means likely sellout crowds and an amped fan base. As Newsday's Randi Marshall wrote, "Fans at Sunday’s Game 6 compared the bedlam with some of their best memories at the [Nassau] Coliseum."

The difference is that the Nassau Coliseum was surrounded by parking lots, which meant a tailgating culture and a place to blow off steam without impinging on the neighborhood (though some fraction of fans could get aggressive and nasty toward opposing fans, as noted in this April 2015 account).

That suggests that arena managers, as well as the police and other public agencies, need to do a better job. (And if the latter don't have the resources, the mayor and governor should make sure they do.)

Neighborhood complaints

At last night's 78th Precinct Community Council meeting (which focused on residents' dismay about the NYPD's posture toward and leaks regarding cyclists' deaths, even from a precinct with a good reputation), several residents pointed out how hockey crowds have impacted the neighborhood.

Some reported crowds crossing nearby streets against the light, or vehicles idling on nearby Dean or Bergen streets.

And while residents recognize that there can be an after-game surge, it's been sustained. While ten to 15 minutes might be OK, one said, 90 minutes to two hours of honking and people shouting "let's go Islanders" is not.

Deputy Inspector Frank DiGiacomo nodded to the suggestion of additional foot patrols around Fifth Avenue in the blocks just below the arena. (Surely the police already know that's a hot spot.)

Pacific Street resident Jim Vogel pointed to seeming nightly events with amplification at the Resorts World Casino NYC Plaza (remember, it's a public amenity!), which he said "seems like a blank check" to get ever louder. Sgt. Angelo Pirozzi commented that the NYPD has not approved all the requested sound permits.

Vogel contended that the the decibel levels exceed what should be allowed. (No evidence was proffered.) Arena Community Affairs Manager Terence Kelly told him, "Jim, you have my cell number," and Vogel responded, "But I shouldn't have to" call. The issue was left unresolved.

Fans in the neighborhood

Kelly said close to 7,000 fans were using the Long Island Rail Road, a continued increase. They are using the railroad, but they're also in the neighborhood, which is of course what area merchants and bar owners appreciate. The question is the balance.

As shown in the video below, shot on Dean Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues, some exuberant fans are chanting a ditty, to the "Adams Family" tune, that includes the lyrics, "Your sister is your mother, Your father is your brother, you all fuck each other, the Rangers Family."



The fan passion is admirable, in a way, but it's clear that either they haven't been told--or don't care--that they're in a residential neighborhood.

I asked Kelly last night if the reported “Islanders Code of Conduct” video--which I don't think has been published publicly--addresses out-of-arena behavior; he said he didn't know, which struck me as under-informed.

The Daily News also reported that "audio recordings asking fans to behave plays outside the Barclays Center during boxing and hockey events."

If things don't improve--and I say this mostly but not completely in jest--arena managers may have to adopt a sticker system, as with the announced plan to have construction workers wear stickers to identify themselves and their project to deter neighborhood incursions.

By the way, DiGiacomo last night announced that that sticker plan is in progress. Forest City Ratner's Ashley Cotton has said the developers, Greenland Forest City Partners, aimed to roll it out by the end of the month.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

Is Barclays Center dumping the Islanders, or are they renegotiating? Evidence varies (bond doc, cash receipts); NHL attendance biggest variable

The Internet has been abuzz since Bloomberg's Scott Soshnick reported 1/30/17, using an overly conclusory headline, that Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Is Dumping the Islanders.

That would end an unusual arrangement in which the arena agrees to pay the team a fixed sum (minus certain expenses), in exchange for keeping tickets, suite, and sponsorship revenue.

The arena would earn more without the hockey team, according to Bloomberg, which cited “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."

That "signal," however, is hardly definitive, as are the media leaks about a prospective new arena in Queens, as shown in the screenshot below from Newsday. Both sides are surely pushing for advantage, if not bluffing.

Consider: the arena and the Islanders can't even formally begin their opt-out talks until after this season. The disc…

Skanska says it "expected to assemble a properly designed modular building, not engage in an iterative R&D experiment"

On 12/10/16, I noted that FastCo.Design's Prefab's Moment of Reckoning article dialed back the gush on the 461 Dean modular tower compared to the publication's previous coverage.

Still, I noted that the article relied on developer Forest City Ratner and architect SHoP to put the best possible spin on what was clearly a failure. From the article: At the project's outset, it took the factory (managed by Skanska at the time) two to three weeks to build a module. By the end, under FCRC's management, the builders cut that down to six days. "The project took a little longer than expected and cost a little bit more than expected because we started the project with the wrong contractor," [Forest City's Adam] Greene says.Skanska jabs back
Well, Forest City's estranged partner Skanska later weighed in--not sure whether they weren't asked or just missed a deadline--and their article was updated 12/13/16. Here's Skanska's statement, which shows th…

Not just logistics: bypassing Brooklyn for DNC 2016 also saved on optics (role of Russian oligarch, Shanghai government)

Surely the logistical challenges of holding a national presidential nominating convention in Brooklyn were the main (and stated) reasons for the Democratic National Committee's choice of Philadelphia.

And, as I wrote in NY Slant, the huge security cordon in Philadelphia would have been impossible in Brooklyn.

But consider also the optics. As I wrote in my 1/21/15 op-ed in the Times arguing that the choice of Brooklyn was a bad idea:
The arena also raises ethically sticky questions for the Democrats. While the Barclays Center is owned primarily by Forest City Ratner, 45 percent of it is owned by the Russian billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov (who also owns 80 percent of the Brooklyn Nets). Mr. Prokhorov has a necessarily cordial relationship with Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — though he has been critical of Mr. Putin in the past, last year, at the Russian president’s request, he tried to transfer ownership of the Nets to one of his Moscow-based companies. An oligarch-owned a…

Former ESDC CEO Lago returns to NYC to head City Planning Commission

Carl Weisbrod, Mayor Bill de Blasio's City Planning Commission Chairman and Director of the Department of City Planning, is resigning,

And he's being replaced by Marisa Lago, currently a federal official, but who Atlantic Yards-ologists remember as the short-term Empire State Development Corporation CEO who, in an impolitic but candid 2009 statement, acknowledged that the project would take "decades."

Still, Lago not long after that played the good soldier at a May 2009 Senate oversight hearing, justifying changes in the project but claiming the public benefits remained the same.

By returning to City Planning, Lago will join former ESDC General Counsel Anita Laremont, who after retiring from the state (and taking a pension) got the job with the city.

Back at planning

Lago, a lawyer, in 1983 began work as an aide to City Planning Chairman Herb Sturz, and later served as the General Counsel to the president of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, Weisbrod himself.