Yormark blames Islanders for not embracing Brooklyn; "they were like rent-a-team" (but Barclays was the renter)
“From the get-go, this was a challenging move,” Yormark said Monday. “Embracing the core fan and trying to grow a new fan base at the same time is fundamentally challenging. That being said, I feel had the Islanders truly embraced the move to Brooklyn in every respect, it might have been different.”That's not copping to equal responsibility, is it?
Yormark tells @randimarshall that had the #Isles embraced the move to BK more it would have worked. Same person who refused to let fans watch warmups from the glass unless they paid extra. But yes, the #Isles didn’t embrace hockey in BK. https://t.co/o6yhTvuuCM— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) February 26, 2018
Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark, faced with a professional failure, decides to blame someone else. As Newsday reported last night:
In an interview with “Sports Xtra” host Tina Cervasio on Fox 5, Yormark was asked about what went wrong with the Islanders’ move to Brooklyn and said, “Unfortunately, it didn’t work. We had great hopes that moving the Islanders to Brooklyn would work. Unfortunately, they were like a rent-a-team. This team never really embraced Brooklyn, unfortunately.Wait a second. Who's renting the team? The arena, actually, since Barclays cut a deal--dubious in retrospect--to take over marketing (and ticket sales, etc.) for the Islanders in exchange for an annual payment. If he really wanted to blame the team (owners & fans), he should've said it was "like rent-an-arena."
“Their fan base resides in Long Island. They have a great, avid fan base in Long Island. Brooklyn just didn’t gravitate to the team as I had hoped they would. But I think the move next year, where they’re playing 12 games back in Long Island — and after next year we’ll probably play half the schedule, if not more [there] — is a step in the right direction.
“Obviously, they’re looking to build their own venue. Not sure that ever happens, but if it does, I wish them well. ”
As numerous commenters indicated, Yormark and Barclays bear a significant share of the blame, since they did not draw new fans from Brooklyn, and they alienated longtime fans--compounding the logistical difficulties in getting to Brooklyn--with some ham-handed policies. Now he's alienated fans over the next three seasons, when they still must play games at Barclays. Could this be a very risky tactic to get the Islanders to move back to the (downsized, suite-lite) Nassau Coliseum full-time in the interim?
As to whether he's "not sure" the Belmont arena happens, well, that sounds like a self-serving argument to prop up Nassau Coliseum, which is operated by Barclays' parent. That arena is on its way. It may not be a good deal for the public overall--note the pending costs--but there does not seem to be any big roadblock.
Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark calls the #Isles “a rent-a-team” that never fully embraced Brooklyn while casting doubt on team's planned move to new arena near Belmont Park | @sportswatch https://t.co/qU8FFARX0U pic.twitter.com/Meb5saDYyv— Newsday Sports (@NewsdaySports) February 26, 2018
Embrace Brooklyn?!? Did we forget this quote?— Rob Induisi (@RInduisi15) February 26, 2018
"There's only one Brooklyn team for Barclays Center and that's the Brooklyn Nets," Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said in a statement.
I say FOH!!!
Priced seats way too high from the onset. Should have had low pricing model to have BKLYN sample Barclays. Snow never allowed marketing of individual players. Didn’t embrace a borough of over 2.3M residents. Lots of brilliant people making bad business/brand miscues.— GameplanCreativeCHI (@GameplanChicago) February 26, 2018
He better hope Belmont doesn’t happen because if it does his nycb arena is going out of business. Awesome job at repainting the old coliseum though Brett, maybe next time you spend millions of $ you can actually upgrade that place properly.— Patrick (@pc97) February 26, 2018
Somewhere a village is missing it's idiot. @brettyormark had time to research the team, sport and fan base. Despite that, misunderstood sport and fans from day 1— Islandrs19 (@Islandrs19) February 26, 2018
Early missteps and always treating #isles and fans like 2nd class citizens didn't exactly endear Barclays to fans.
Yormark can shove it up his ass. His company was in charge of Front of House ops as per the contract. The second his company started managing @NYCBLive he wanted the #isles back on the Island to pad his own bottom line.— Ryan Paulsen (@rpaulsenphoto) February 26, 2018
Anyone who went to a game at Barclays Center Year one knows how woefully unprepared Yormark’s operation was after having 3 years notice.— IslesBlog (@IslesBlog) February 26, 2018
They were interested in branding the #Isles using the Nets formula and then were forced to pivot as much as possible once fans rejected it. https://t.co/QglPrXqhE6
Some significant comments about the #isles by @brettyormark in key story by @sportswatch. There has always been an imperfect relationship between the team and Brooklyn, but Yormark here puts onus on #isles; doesn't take responsibility himself. I think there's blame to go around. https://t.co/HXJAjGNpIc— Randi Marshall (@randimarshall) February 26, 2018
An egomaniac with a bruised ego. For someone who is supposed to be a smart business man, doesn't seem like the smartest or most savvy way to handle this - especially since the #Isles will still be playing games there for the next couple of years.— Mich (@HockeygirlMich) February 26, 2018