The Islanders are on the move, but don’t worry you can still easily take transit there.
It was reported earlier today that the New York Islanders, who have played at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York since 1972, would be relocating to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn as of 2015.
After a vote last year to build a new arena to replace the aging facility was nixed, ownership began looking at alternatives including relocating the team. Though Quebec City was one of the locations rumoured by some as a possible new home for the team, that’s not the focus of this article.
During the press conference on October 24th both ownership and the mayor of New York trumpeted that current fans of the team could easily take the train to the arena, with the Long Island Rail Road’s Atlantic Terminal stationed right next to the Barclays Center.
It was also highlighted that the arena is easily accessible with great access to public transit. Nine subway lines converge at the adjacent Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center subway station.
“Parking at Barclays Center is very limited. We strongly recommend using public transportation,” reads a note on the arena’s website in reference to parking at the venue.
Easy access to public transit touted as a highlight for a major league sporting facility? Sound familiar?
Bruce Ratner, who is the developer of the facility, led a group to purchase the New Jersey Nets in 2004 with the intention of building a new arena in Brooklyn to host the team. So as far back as 2004 the owner of a professional sports franchise saw the importance of local and regional transit into a stadium .
What about Hamilton’s new professional sporting facility?
The new Ivor Wynne Stadium will be located close to a rapid transit line in the city. Wait, no it won’t. We don’t even know IF we’re going to get the rapid transit we were promised.
At least the new Ivor Wynne will be close to regional transit. NO on that account as well. Regional train service (GO Transit) doesn’t stop anywhere near the new stadium and GO Transit has no intention of putting a new stop near the stadium.
Access to public transit is an important part of new facility development.
I would say on behalf of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats that hindsight is 20/20 if thousands of Hamiltonians hadn’t been screaming that prior to the solution to simply tear down and rebuild on site rather than create a jewel on our waterfront.
At least someone got it right. Too bad the ones in charge here weren’t among them.