Ten games in, Islanders have league's second-to-worst attendance (and real numbers lower), though that could change
After 10 games, nearly a quarter of the 41 regular-season home games, the team's attendance is 12,379, which a few days ago was the lowest raw number, and third-to-lowest percentage of capacity, in the league (Last year, after 12 home games, the figure was 12,407.)
As of today, the Islanders figure hasn't budged, but, thanks to the Carolina Hurricanes'
Still, the actual gate count at Barclays, based on past performance, is likely nearly 20% lower, which suggests that not more than 10,000 people are walking in the door.
Last year, as I reported, the Islanders officially averaged 13,626 fans, third-to-last in the 30-team league. But the gate count was actually 11,200 fans per game, which is 2,700 fewer people, or 19.4%.
A couple of things to recognize: Islanders attendance started slow last year, then picked up significantly, so presumably more fans will show up if and when the team pushes toward the playoffs.
Then again, it doesn't look like some of the changes for this season--more Islanders branding, more Long Island Rail Road post-game trains, an "ice technician"--have had significant impact yet.
Also, look at the total of Home and Road games in the graphic below, from ESPN.
|Graphic annotated from ESPN|
That at least in part attributable to the fact that the Islanders are the second team in the building, with the Brooklyn Nets--at least last year--perceived by some as getting more prime spots.
Giving tickets away
The Islanders--actually, Barclays Center management, since they're in charge of ticket distribution, in exchange for a fixed payment to the team--may no longer be papering the house via last-minute ticket services.
But they still have seats to just give away. As I heard secondhand, arena staff offered prime tickets to a passer-by at the last minute before one recent game. The next games are Monday, 11/14/16, and Friday, 11/16/16.
Anthony Baldini, writing 11/8/16 in FanSided, summarized it:
So, take a small fan base, dislocate it, and create strenuous conditions to continue their fandom, and the result is an enormous pressure on the team to sell tickets to its new BK community to replace their absence.He cited the awkward layout and a weak start for a generally good team. And while ticket costs are relatively low, he suggested they're outweighed by the cost and time it takes for core fans to drive or take the train from Long Island.