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How did the split-season work for the Isles? The smaller Nassau Coliseum outdrew Barclays

So, how did the truncated split season for the New York Islanders work out?

As my analysis below shows, though the Barclays Center is larger, in only two of 11 games in Brooklyn did the attendance exceed the capacity of the Nassau Coliseum, while attendance at the latter was higher overall.

In Nassau, attendance averaged 12,863, or 97.5% of the 13,917 capacity. In Brooklyn, attendance averaged 12,695, or 80.4% of the 15,795 capacity.

There were 28 home games scheduled for the Coliseum, the team's historic home, and 13 for the Barclays Center. Once the coronavirus pandemic stalled the season, 24 had been played in Nassau County and 11 in Brooklyn.

If the Islanders were to make the playoffs, all games would've been held in the smaller facility, closer to the fan base and preferred by the players. A more full arena makes for a better game experience--at least before the pandemic. (This was a switch from 2019, when

With the new Belmont area under construction for at least one more season, the Islanders were to play the entire next season at the Coliseum as well, though the recent decision to shutter that arena indefinitely leaves all in question.

Looking at the numbers

After 35 home games, according to ESPN, the Islanders averaged 12,810 fans a game, the second worst in the league. That translates to 81.3% of capacity, according to ESPN, but doesn't quite make sense, given that the number is 81.3% of 15,756 total seats.

The Coliseum's capacity is 13,917, while the Barclays Center is listed as 15,813 on ESPN, rather than 15,795 on the Barclays Center web site. In any case, there are numerous obstructed-view seats in Brooklyn.

More accurate would be a blended average, as described below.

Note that the 2019-20 totals are better than 2018-19, when the average was 12,442, or 2017-18, when the average was 12,002. The latter was the Islanders' third year in Brooklyn, and the last before splitting home games.

Attendance at the Coliseum

Oct. 4: Capitals, 13,917, 100% full
Oct. 6: Jets, 9,923, 71% full
Oct. 8: Oilers, 10,985, 78% full
Oct. 12: Panthers, 11,421, 82% full
Oct. 14: Blues, 10,355, 74% full
Oct. 24: Coyotes, 10,752, 77% full
Oct. 27: Flyers 12,055, 86% full
Nov. 1: Lightning 12,043, 86% full
Nov. 13: Maple Leafs, 13,293, 95% full
Dec. 5: Golden Knights, 13,117, 94% full
Dec. 14: Sabres, 13,795, 99% full
Dec. 17: Predators, 12,114, 87% full
Dec. 21: Ducks, 13,917, 100% full
Dec. 23: Blue Jackets, 13,917, 100% full
Jan. 2: Devils, 13,917, 100% full
Jan. 6: Avalanche, 13,241, 95% full
Jan. 14, Red Wings, 12,542, 90% full
Jan. 16: Rangers, 13,917, 100% full
Jan. 18: Capitals, 13,917, 100% full
Feb. 21, Red Wings, 13,917, 100% full
Feb. 23, Sharks, 13,917, 100% full
Feb. 25, Rangers, 13,917, 100% full
Feb. 29, Bruins, 13,917, 100% full
March 7, Hurricanes, 13,917, 100% full

I calculated a total of 308,723 attendees over 24 games, averaging 12,863/game, or 97.5% of the 13,917 capacity.

Attendance at Barclays

Nov. 5: Senators, 11,212, 70% full
Nov. 7: Penguins, 12,613, 79% full
Nov. 9: Panthers, 13,100, 82% full
Nov. 21: Penguins, 13,212, 83% full
Nov. 30: Blue Jackets 13,433, 84% full
Jan. 11: Bruins, 14,962, 94% full
Feb. 1: Canucks, 14,862, 93% full
Feb. 4: Stars, 10,128, 64% full
Feb. 6: Kings, 11,108, 70% full
Feb. 11, Flyers, 12,228, 77% full
March 3, Canadiens, 12,788, 80% full

I calculated a total of 139,646 attendees over 11 games, averaging 12,695/game, or 80.4% of the 15,795 capacity.

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