Islanders Take the Train to the Game

As the Islanders embark on the start of training camp for the 2013-14 season, they began their continuing transition from the Nassau Coliseum to their soon to be home, the Barclays Center.  On the morning of September 12, 2013 the hockey club teamed up with the MTA and the Long Island Rail Road on their “Take the Train to the Game” campaign.

General Manager Garth Snow, forwards Frans Nielsen and Matt Martin, and Garden City Mayor John Watras joined LIRR representatives this morning at 8:15am at the Garden City train station for a brief press conference to discuss the ease and efficiency of taking the train to the Barclays Center.  Even though some New York City commuters may disagree with all of the accolades of the MTA and LIRR, spending 44 minutes on an air conditioned train, rather than sitting in traffic and scuffling to find parking in Brooklyn sounds like a much better option.  Since the Barclays Center opened last year, commuters to the Atlantic Terminal/Barclays Center station are up a whopping 300%.

The presser continued with Garth Snow saying a few words about his current living situation in Nassau County, a resident since 2001, and how he plans stay even when the team moves.  Mayor Watras reiterated the simplicity of the LIRR and wished the team luck in their future seasons.

To end the formal part of the day, Nielsen and Martin took a friendly faceoff on the train station grounds.  The players and GM took time after the press conference to shake hands and take pictures with fans and fellow train takers while waiting for the rest of the Islander team who arrived shortly after via the team bus.  The team hopped on the 8:51am train to Brooklyn and continued their busy day.

With training camp beginning today, the first preseason game in under a week, and the regular season in just over 3 weeks, the anticipation and excitement is high among the players, personnel, and fans.  “A Shift in Power” is upon us and today is just the start.


-Chad DeCarlo

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TheFinisher's picture

Great article, Chad. I for one welcome the idea of the commute. When the team picks up a "W", the comradery and excitement shared on the train home will be unmatched. Although it was great waving towels, beeping horns on Hempstead Tpke, there will be no love lost on the way home this time around.

Looking forward to your next article. Wink

jdf14's picture

The Barclays Center is making more sense, far better chance for increased attendance, more money, better players, better record, increases attendance...thanks for article!

Judema55's picture

I'm sure the train ride can be a fun part of the Islander game experience however, remember the family that has to now pay a train fare, opposed to the ridiculous parking fee. Do you know how much the round trip train fare is for a family of four? (Just wondering) That additional cost could reduce the number of games a family could attend in a season.
ps-Whos that celebrity with the Islanders in the pic???

TheFinisher's picture

Good point Judema - I wouldn't be surprised if we see the islanders working with the LIRR for some type of package if they see attendance down early on.

Chad DeCarlo's picture

From Mineola to Atlantic terminal its $14 r/t, plus having to deal with the irresponsible drinkers, etc. is taking the train really easier and more convenient ? The fan base will be much different. Maybe this will change the team for the better but that is still yet to be determined.

TheFinisher's picture

True, but with that being said, there is plenty of space on the LIRR. The hours that games are played you can expect a lot empty space on the trains. Most of the drinkers will probably be in one cart, allowing family's to separate themselves as need be, safely. Probably wouldn't hurt to assign a security officer or two either. I don't foresee problems unless they are Ranger fans, of course. Innocent

Judema55's picture

OK, so for a family of 4 thats an additional $56.00 plus the hassle of riding a train with a bunch of drunk fans. I can't see the LIRR having a separate "Family Car" & if they put security guards on to police out of control fans when they haven't secured security guards post 9/11, that would be insane. The move will no longer attract the the Long Island families that have young kids & are on a limited budget.
Chad, you were so happy to leave work knowing that you'd be in your seat @ the game in under a half hour--Whats your time frame now?? Don't get me wrong, I think riding the train is a smart & convenient way to go for REAL fans who want to see the Islanders play in their new home, I just think the average Long Island family will pass up & miss out on the great experience of cheering on OUR ISLANDERS!! They will be sorely missed.---BTW, we are very fortunate to be within walking distance of the Mineola train station ,what about the people who are not---just another hassle.

TheFinisher's picture

Jude makes some valid points. I for one don't have a family of four, or don't even live in NY anymore, so I'm really on the outside looking in. We'll just have to wait and see how this season pans out. Cool

jdf14's picture

I think the LIRR is just an alternate way of getting there. I remember, (before I was old enough to drive), going to NYC by LIRR to see that other NY Hockey team-it was easier then going to an Islander game, we didn't need anyone to take us and pick us up etc. so, all we are talking about is, this was not available to Islander fans in the past.
A family of 4 may drive and pay to park like they do for a baseball or football game. The more ways to get there the better chance of increasing the number of fans. Let's face it, people in Brooklyn think there is a bridge between Brooklyn and Long Island and they are probably Ranger fans so, the Islanders have to attract new fans or ultimately they will move to another City...remember the Dodgers were a Brooklyn team...Islanders have to do a better job marketing the team, getting the fans there is an important part of any team's marketing plan.