The team held a practice on Thursday in its soon-to-be home in the Barclays Center, complete with its logo painted at center ice and the tagline “In Brooklyn” surrounding it.
While the Islanders will not officially be a Barclays Center home team until the 2015-16 season, it will take part in the first NHL game in Brooklyn on Saturday, September 21, when they face the New Jersey Devils.
According to arena developer and owner Bruce Ratner, the 15,813 fans at each Islander game - a number that has increased from the original 14,500 estimate - will feel like “they are in their living room.”
“This place was built for intimacy,” said Ratner. “It’s probably going to be the most intimate view for any hockey fan probably in the NHL.”
There will still be some changes that will have to be made to the arena regarding premium seating and creating an Islanders campus. But Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said the arena is ready for the Islanders.
“[Barclays] was primary built for basketball and concerns,” said Yormark during a media arena tour on Thursday. “But obviously we always want to consider every possible option.
“We are delighted to give Brooklyn a sneak peak at its future hometown NHL team,” he added. “There’s a lot of excitement about professional hockey bound for Brooklyn.”