UBS Arena Welcome Islanders for First Time – NBC New York

The New York Islanders’ lengthy wait is lastly over.

Practically 4 years after profitable the bid to construct a brand new residence subsequent to Belmont Park, the Islanders opened the doorways to UBS Arena on Saturday night time. The Calgary Flames would be the Islanders’ first residence opponent this season after the crew spent the primary 6/12 weeks of the season enjoying 13 highway video games.

“It’s a beautiful building,” stated Lonny Lehman, a first-time season-ticket holder from East Meadow, New York, a brief drive from the Coliseum. “(Looking forward to) just having a home again. … It’s been a long time coming. Our politicians failed us. Fortunately, our new owners kept us here and they’re going to have a nice following.”

The $1.1 billion constructing is the fruits of a marketing campaign that began greater than a decade in the past by earlier Islanders proprietor Charles Wang. First got here the proposed Lighthouse Mission in 2007 that was a part of redevelopment plan, however went nowhere. Then, Nassau County voters rejected an try to safe public financing for a brand new area 4 years later, and the unpopular transfer to Brooklyn in 2015 finally noticed the crew splitting residence video games between Barclays Heart and the Coliseum.

Now, the brand new area is right here and the years of uncertainty over the crew’s future are over.

Lehman additionally praised Islanders homeowners Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky, saying: “They’re unbelievable. I want they owned the (NFL’s New York) Jets.”

Tickets for the house opener had been offered out months upfront, and there was a waitlist for season tickets. Sellers had been itemizing tickets for the primary sport from $230 for the most affordable seats within the nook to greater than $800 on just a few hours earlier than puck drop.

UBS Arena has a capability of 17,250 — bigger than the 13,917 on the renovated Coliseum and 15,795 at Barclays Heart.

“This is awesome,” Jason Saltsberg stated. “This is definitely much more luxurious than the Coliseum was. Everything has been trending in the right direction. As soon as they announced the arena, the team seemed turn the corner and its all happening at once and its fantastic.”

The Islanders went 5-6-2 on their season-opening stretch of highway video games, together with 4 straight losses. Twenty-five of their subsequent 36 video games shall be at residence, and so they do not play greater than two consecutive video games on the highway till a four-game journey from Jan. 4-11.

“Hopefully they can bring the Cup home,” stated Holly Baratta, who purchased season tickets for the final season of the Coliseum, however didn’t get to make use of them due to restricted seating as a result of coronavirus pandemic.

The gamers bought an opportunity to observe on the ice on the new rink Thursday and had been impressed.

“It absolutely blew me away,” the Islanders’ Mathew Barzal stated. “I walked right in, saw the gym, saw the eating area and I couldn’t wait to see more. The entire facility and the rink and how it was set up was so high-end. … We’re a really lucky group.”

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