For the first several years that Barry Melrose Rocks existed, and indeed, long before that, the New York Isladers were imprisoned in the Nassau Coliseum, which merely existed to remind fans how much the team’s owners held them in contempt. Finally, things changed, and the Islanders moved to Brooklyn, and started playing at the Barclays Center. Somehow, that was even worse, as the team was furhter away from their dyed in the wool fans, and also managed to feature some of the worst seats in professional sports, thanks to the designers forgetting that hockey was to be played in this basketball arena.
But now they are building the UBS Center in Elmont. It is scheduled to open in November, finally giving the Islanders and fans a deserved home, close to where people were coming to games from. Or, as UBS Center worker Brad Lura put it, “People are happy that something of this scale came out this nice on Long Island.” And it is that mood, shocked by mere competence that captures the attitude around this arena the best. Hooray, it’s not a disaster!