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The Islanders in Nassau: a "tease" of a return

So, the New York Islanders held a pre-season game Sunday at the renovated/downsized Nassau Coliseum--er, NYCB Live--and it sold out, with 13,917 fans, many tailgating in the parking lot. "Bring them back," chanted fans.

Does that mean the team, engaged in renegotiating its Barclays Center lease and likely bidding on a new arena at the Belmont racetrack site, might return to a shrunken Nassau arena, with few luxury boxes? Not so likely.

A tease at the Coliseum, wrote Newsday's Randi Marshall, who interviewed Brett Yormark, CEO executive of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which operates both arenas:
Yormark told The Point he sees a two-phase opportunity: first, the Islanders come back for some games, perhaps temporarily; and second, if the team reconsiders making the arena a more permanent home. Both, he noted, would require “doable” improvements to the arena.
“I think yesterday was a great first step for us in what will be a multistep process,” Yormark said in an interview Monday. “Hopefully, they read the stories today, they understand what the fans want, and collectively, we can all work together to deliver to fans exactly what they’re looking for. That’s the goal.”
But tweaking the concession stands doesn't solve the revenue issue; remember, the Islanders had much lower ticket prices in Nassau and, again, fewer suites. (The local TV contract is a major reason they don't want to leave the city.)

About the future, uncertainty and doubt

Newsday's Arthur Staple called it a playoff atmosphere:
“[The sellout crowd] means we have an incredible fan base on Long Island, and we ought to recognize that and hear that,” [co-owner Jon] Ledecky told Newsday. “We want fans from the entire metropolitan area. They’re coming from all over and we should be able to honor those fans. They love being back here for this game.”
That's not saying anything definitive. Kate Eliou at Eyes on Isles noted the fan energy, but was skeptical:
However, no matter how much fans want to see it, the Coliseum is no longer a viable option in the long run. Earlier this month, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman once again made his thoughts on the Islanders returning to Long Island clear. He stated that, strictly from a league standpoint, a permanent homecoming would not make sense.
Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post called it Nostalgia, passion and anger in Isles’ bizarre Coliseum show, writing:
It was a weird preseason hockey experience that occurred out on Long Island on Sunday afternoon, when some alternate reality of the past was projected onto the 13,917 people who sold out the revamped Coliseum. They rejoiced in the sight of their beloved Islanders, who called this place on Hempstead Turnpike home for the first 43 years of their existence but now ready themselves to embark on their third season as frustrated urbanites residing at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, with their more distant future completely in flux.

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