According to Scott Burnside of ESPN, the relocation of the New York Islanders franchise to Brooklyn from suburban Nassau County has been a disaster. Burnside has just been looking at attendance, the Brooklyn figure, which are about on par when compared to past Nassau Coliseum October home dates.
Burnside in his complaint about the Islanders move left out numerous critical facts. The Islanders franchise gets quite a chunk of money from cable television, the team is getting far more money on tickets sold in Brooklyn than at the Nassau Coliseum as ticket prices have jumped, the team is changing the fan composition and there are more concession and marketing partnerships and Burnside also forgot that the arena is paying the Islanders owners to play in Brooklyn. There is another factor which Burnside has forgotten or maybe doesn’t understand. The Brooklyn arena owners are now in a second arena business and will renovate the Nassau Coliseum in an attempt to build a synergy that could eventually have the Brooklyn Nets and Islanders play pre-season games in the building and secure a minor league hockey team.
The Islanders franchise didn’t have much of a fan base and needs to build a bigger one that will include New York City. That some Nassau and Suffolk County fans are irate is no big deal. They do travel to Mets games in Queens and Jets games in New Jersey and that it is early in the season. The Islanders marketing partners, the Brooklyn Nets may have also made a mistake by catering to the old fans instead of turning over the fan base entirely like the team did when the Nets franchise moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn. The Islanders franchise is still in New York where there is money and eventually the big city media will understand that the team is a big city team like the Mets, Yankees, Knicks, Rangers and those two NFL teams across the Hudson in New Jersey.
I’m Evan Weiner for the Politics of Sports Business.
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner