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.
This watchdog blog, by journalist Norman Oder, offers analysis, commentary, and reportage about the $4.9B project to build the Barclays Center arena and 15-16 towers at a crucial site in Brooklyn. Dubbed Atlantic Yards by developer Forest City Ratner in 2003, it was rebranded Pacific Park Brooklyn in 2014 after the Chinese government-owned Greenland Group bought a 70% stake going forward. As of 2018, after the arena and four towers were built, Greenland will own 95% of future construction.