New York Islanders Prepare For Nassau Coliseum’s Last Dance


Since 1972, historic Nassau Coliseum off of Hempstead Turnpike in Long Island has been the home of the New York Islanders. It has witnessed the dynasty years of 1980-83, when New York won four straight Stanley Cups, three of them coming at the hallowed arena with a team that featured hall of famers Mike Bossy, Bryan Trottier, Billy Smith, Denis Potvin and many others.

However, as the 2014-15 season approaches, a new building looms on the horizon, and that is the Barclays Center. Placed in the heart of Brooklyn, this prowess of architecture is currently home to the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, but in 2015, will also hold the home games of the Islanders.

Here are some facts about the building:

  • Broke ground: March 11, 2010
  • Opened: September 21, 2012
  • Construction cost: $1 billion
  • General contractor: Hunt Construction Group
  • Capacity for hockey: 15,813

Photo: Paul Martinka

It is obviously a tremendous venue with plenty of upside toward it, as it prepares for another basketball season and its first hockey season.

But there are issues such as the off-center scoreboard and an estimated 800 obstructed view seats that might not appease itself to the die-hard hockey rabid fanbase of the team especially after the governmental debacle that proceeded to force the team to move in the first place.

As new beginnings come abound for the Islanders, both on and off the ice,  the Coliseum will be left in the shadows, and some are wondering how quickly the building will be forgotten.

Preliminary plans are for a group led by Bruce Ratner to re-develop the site and rebuild a new, smaller venue that could house an American Hockey League franchise. But that is far from a certainty given the tumultuous leadership currently governing Long Island.

All of this is very sad to think about, considering that some great things happened in the ole barn, including this historic penalty shot from Shawn Bates which my father, a die-hard Islanders fan and credentialed journalist for the team, says is the loudest he has ever heard the Coliseum rock:


As fans and players prepare for what will be an emotional season at the Coliseum, it must be said that this building is one of the most historic arenas in the hockey world. It might not look it from the outside and the inside might leave you asking the question over and over again in your head but make no mistake, it is.

All due to the great memories that happened there, the great teams it housed, the Stanley Cups it raised and last but not least that beautifully constructed un-obstructed seating plan.

One thing’s for certain, if there’s one game you don’t want to miss, it will be the Islanders last home game on Long Island, scheduled for Saturday, April 11 against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

If the Islanders were to miss the playoffs, it might be the last time you ever hear the building rock again.

And there might not be a dry eye in the house when the horn sounds for the final time.


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