The Islanders have agreed to play 12 games next season at Nassau Coliseum, according to multiple reports.
The team and Barclays Center had been renegotiating the current lease at the Brooklyn arena, which has been the Islanders home since 2015. The Islanders will play the rest of their schedule at Barclays Center next year and if all goes well would play at least half of their schedule in the following seasons at the Coliseum, according to Newsday.
Bloomberg was first to report the specifics. Newsday had reported earlier in the week that a deal was close.
The Islanders stay at Barclays and Nassau Coliseum would be a temporary stopgap while the organization waits for its new arena at Belmont Park to be built. It is expected that construction would not be completed until at least 2021.
The announcement is expected to come on Monday during a press conference at the Coliseum. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will likely be present for the announcement.
The Coliseum had been previously ruled out as a temporary home for the Islanders by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, however, he has softened his stance the Islanders won the bid to develop an arena at Belmont Park. There has been mounting pressure by local and state leaders for the Islanders to play temporarily at Nassau Coliseum, which included Cuomo.
Islanders ownership, Bettman, arena officials and local leaders toured the venue earlier this month to assess what needed to be upgraded in the building for the NHL team.
“There are a variety of things that have to be upgraded, whether it’s the locker rooms, and training facilities and the like,” Bettman told reporters on Saturday ahead of the All-Star skills competition. “That’s something we’re in touch with the Islanders on. The Nassau Coliseum has been given a nice refresh in terms of the way it looks, but it’s still the Nassau Coliseum. So anything that may or may not take place there certainly would have to be on a temporary basis.”
The Coliseum underwent a $165 million renovation and reopened in March 2017. The arena has hosted two hockey games since its reopening — an Islanders preseason game last September and a college hockey game earlier this month.
Islander fans flocked to Nassau Coliseum for the preseason game against Philadelphia on September 17 and the game was sold out.
“We had a planning environment sub-committee meeting today, and both Kris King and Dan Craig were there,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly added about the situation. “They briefed the group on some of the things that need to be done. Not major fixes, but to the Commissioner’s point, it’s not a long-term facility.”
The Islanders won the rights develop the state-owned land at Belmont Park and build a new arena for the team there. They have played at Barclays Center since 2015 and their stay has been marred by issues, including ice conditions, obstructed view seating and low attendance.