Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, March 30, 2021

off the island
The New York Islanders have found a relocation option more feasible than their trumped-up Kansas City/Sprint Center canard, and it’s right across the county border: New York City’s Queens borough is dangling Willet’s Point, near the Mets’ new Citi Field, for a new hockey arena complex.

Transportation is key:

The Queens Chamber of Commerce is pitching Willets Point as an ideal spot for the four-time Stanley Cup champions given its proximity to highways and the No. 7 train.

A spokesman for the city Economic Development Corp. said a request for proposals on Willets Point will go out this year, allowing developers a window of about two months to respond.

I’m thinking a location right near mass transit — subways and buses more than commuter trains — would do loads to pump up attendance. If nothing else, the Isles would be practically guaranteed sellouts when the Rangers visit, and possibly the Devils too. In fact, New Jersey’s recent move from the Meadowlands, which is chiefly car-accessible, to downtown Newark, which is on the PATH line, has a lot to do with that NHL team’s uptick in ticket sales.

Can the club still call itself “Islanders” after moving to the five boroughs? Sure can, because political-perceptional divisions aside, Queens really is part of Long Island, and even resembles Nassau County in terms of suburban/urban blend.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 03/30/2009 01:56:52 PM
Category: Hockey, New Yorkin', SportsBiz
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3 Feedbacks »
  1. Queens is suburban only when compared to Manhattan. Small parts of it are definitely ‘burbish, and a few Nassau parts can compare, but not many, and it’s only because it’s in the shadow of skyscrapers.

    On its own, it’s more city than most cities in the country.

    I’m currently holed up in one of the most suburban parts (with Nassau literally blocks away).

    Comment by David — 03/31/2009 @ 12:06:46 AM

  2. Oh, as for the hockey - Queens is a more viable move than KC, especially due to the tv contract. This still all feels like political posturing more than anything else though. Subway access is nice, but it’s LIRR access that would be key. As for guaranteeing sellouts vs the Rangers, that happens already.

    A better team in the coming seasons won’t hurt either.

    Comment by David — 03/31/2009 @ 12:09:40 AM

  3. Yeah, I guess I should have clarified the east-west split within Queens: Closer to Manhattan and Brooklyn remains more urban, while the nearer to the Nassau line things tend to blend. In the back of my mind was the morphing urbanization of Nassau and other “first suburbs”.

    Also, something I should have included but didn’t: Suffolk County was in the Isles’ sights three years ago, which I thought was a daft move, regardless of Suffolk’s population. Funny how they’ve now done an almost-literal 180, from west to east.

    Comment by CT — 03/31/2009 @ 10:44:08 AM

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