Skip to main content

Newsday: unlikely Islanders/arena will use opt-out clause, no NHL signoff yet for Coliseum games, Barclays attendance rises (but could be better)

Three Newsday reporters today have an interesting report, headlined Islanders and Barclays Center have an opt-out clause, but no plans to use it, sources say.

This updates the New York Post report from February that said "the relationship with Barclays Center has been on such thin ice during the club’s first season in Brooklyn that both sides are secretly exploring ways to cut ties or modify the existing terms of their lease."

Newsday said, though, the opt-out would come after the fourth season, it's unclear when the decision would be made. Newsday reminds us that, at an "October 2012, news conference at Barclays Center, [then-Islanders owner Charles] Wang described the 25-year agreement as 'ironclad.'"

But the status quo is most likely, given that Islanders' attendance has risen after a very slow start, the renovated Nassau Coliseum will still be too small (with 13,000 seats), and there's no viable arena in the metro area.

Newsday also confirmed that the promise to have the Islanders to play two exhibition games and four regular-season games a year at the Coliseum still needs a National Hockey League signoff.

The average attendance is 13,580, or 28 of 30 teams in the NHL, and better than the team's average of 13,327 in Nassau over the final 10 years. And, of course, there are far more luxury suites. The team drew only 12,157 in the first 11 games, and since 11/20/15 averaged 14,140.

That said, the full expected bump in attendance--the arena is only 86 percent full--has not arrived, and that's partly because the new arena, however more smooth the fan experience, lacks the Coliseum's atmosphere.

Some 4,000 people travel on the Long Island Rail Road to the Barclays Center for games, which is good for some, but frustrating for others, in part because of logistics and, as Newsday paraphrased one fan, "the ride home often involves people using language not suitable for kids."

From the Wall Street Journal

A more optimistic 4/8/16 Wall Street Journal article, A Year After Their Move, Islanders and Fans Starting to Feel at Home, pointed out that the team's playoff games will help broaden the fan base, but "An Islanders spokesman deferred to the Barclays Center’s staff for comment."

The WSJ did not find as much frustration with the commute:
“Early on it was a transition—some people taking the train, others not as into it—but I personally love the convenience of the train,” said Ryan Costigan, 29, a season-ticket holder from Oceanside on Long Island. “It drops me off right at the front door. No worries about anything. It brings you right home.”
...Among the dozen or so season-ticket holders asked by The Wall Street Journal, only one said she wouldn’t be renewing for next season.
And the loudest fans are happy:
For some of the more vocal fans, such as the members of the Blue and Orange Army, which occupies Section 229 at the arena, the move to Brooklyn has been liberating.
“The Barclays Center has definitely been very welcoming to us,” said Tom LoFaso, 25, of Levittown. “They’re kind of letting us do a lot of things that we weren’t able to do at the Coliseum. We have a drum. We can hang up banners on the wall. They’ve been super accommodating, everyone has been super nice.”
Yeah, but the problem is when they bring the drum to the residential neighborhood around the arena.


Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

No, security guards can't ban photos. Questions remain about visibility of ID/sticker system.

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting June 14, held at 55 Hanson Place, addressed multiple issues, including delays in the project, a new detente with project neighbors,concerns about traffic congestion, upcoming sewer work and demolitions, and an explanation of how high winds caused debris to fly off the under-construction 38 Sixth Avenue building. I'll have more coverage.
Security issues came up several times at the meeting.
Wayne Bailey, a resident who regularly takes photos and videos (that I often use) of construction/operations issues that impact residents, asked representatives of Tishman Construction if the security guard at the sites they're building works for them.
After Tishman Senior VP Eric Reid said yes, Bailey asked why a guard told him not to shoot video of the site, even though he was on a public street.

"I will address it with principals for that security firm," Reid said.
Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, the …

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming + FAQ (post-dated pinned post)

This graphic, posted in January 2018, is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. Note the unbuilt B1 and the proposed shift in bulk to the unbuilt Site 5.

The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change. The project is already well behind that tentative timetable.

How many people are expected?

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park has a projected 6,430 apartments housing 2.1 persons per unit (as per Chapter 4 of the 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement), which would mean 13,503 new residents, with 1,890 among them in low-income affordable rentals, and 2,835 in moderate- and middle-income affordable rentals.

That leaves 8,778 people in market-rate rentals and condos, though let's call it 8,358 after subtracting 420 who may live in 200 promised below-market condos. So that's 5,145 in below-market units, though many of them won't be so cheap.

As …

The passing of David Sheets, Dean Street renter, former Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality

David Sheets, longtime Dean Street renter, Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality, died 1/17/18 in HCA Greenview Hospital in Bowling Green, KY. He was 56.

There are obituary notices in the Bowling Green Daily News and the Wichita Eagle, which state:
He was born in Wichita, KS where he attended public Schools and Wichita State University. He lived for many years in Brooklyn, NY, and was employed as a legal assistant. David's hobby was cartography and had an avid interest in Mass Transit Systems of the world. David was predeceased by his father, Kenneth E. Sheets. He is survived by his mother, Wilma Smith, step-brother, Billy Ray Smith and his wife, Jane all of Bowling Green; step-sister, Ellen Smith Alexander and her husband, Jerry of Bella Vista, AR; several cousins and step-nieces and step-nephews also survive. Memorial Services will be on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm with visitation from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Monday at Johnson-Vaughn-Phe…

Some skepticism on Belmont hockey deal: lease value seems far below Aqueduct racino; unclear (but large?) cost for LIRR service

As I wrote for The Bridge 12/20/1, The Islanders Say Bye to Brooklyn, But Where Next?, the press conference announcing a new arena at Belmont Park for the New York Islanders was "long on pomp... but short on specifics."

Notably, a lease valued at $40 million "upfront to lease up to 43 acres over 49 years... seems like a good deal on rent for the state-controlled property." Also, the Long Island Rail Road will expand service to Belmont.

That indicates public support for an arena widely described as "privately financed," but how much? We don't know yet, but some more details--or at least questions--have emerged.

An Aqueduct comparable?

Well, we don't know what the other bid was, and there aren't exactly parcels that large offering direct comparables.

But consider: Genting New York LLC in September 2010 was granted a franchise to operate a video lottery terminal under a 30 year lease on 67 acres at Aqueduct Park (as noted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo).


Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…