Isles Are Stranded Without A Home
Steve Giangaspro on Sat, 2013-03-02 12:31
It takes more than a house to make a home and the 2013 NHL season on Long Island continues to prove that.
Somehow, someway, fans of every other team get their hands on boat loads of tickets creating an environment that wipes out home ice advantage.
This epidemic has been obvious in almost every home game this year. Every team from near and far will fill the Nassau Coliseum with their loyalties and jerseys. The Devils, Flyers, Bruins and Leafs have all taken over the Coliseum recently.
How embarrassing was it for fans to watch hats rain from the ceiling when Toronto's Kadri netted his third goal to complete a hat trick on Thursday?
The Rangers fans filling the Coliseum is not a good thing either but fans of recent years should be used to this. (Photo Credit: Nuke812/Flickr)
Now it seems that fans from far and wide come to enjoy an affordable hockey ticket and an almost guaranteed win for their favorite team. It is disheartening.
What is the solution to this? Do fans just weather the storm until the team moves to Brooklyn in 2015?
There is no easy solution to this because the main problem is that the team is not winning thus scaring Islanders fans away. If the opposing teams' fans don't buy the tickets, it would just be empty. Money is money, after all.
I'm sure Charles Wang and Garth Snow are just as disgusted as the fans are to hear louder reactions to the road teams' goals than the Isles' triumphs.
But if the team doesn't start playing better, there is nothing they can do to alleviate this problem.
Unless, they set a restriction on who could buy tickets.
But that is also a slippery slope. If you were to take the approach that many NFL teams do to secure home field advantage, you would be losing a lot of money that wouldn't be replaced by Isles fans.
The way teams in the NHL like the Arizona Cardinals keep Dallas Cowboys fans out of their building on a given Sunday is pairing those specific tickets with another purchase.
For example, if a fan were to like the Cowboys, they would think twice about heading to Arizona for the game if they had to buy tickets to another Arizona home game as well with them.
Isles upper management would take a stand if there was a problem for fans of the blue and orange being shut out from the box office because of the influx of road fans.
However this isn't happening. Everyone knows that Isles fans are not lining around the Meadowbrook Parkway to get in to see them with a staggering 2-8-1 home record.
The franchise will continue to accept the needed money.
Brooklyn should solve this in 2015 going forward. One reason being that the ticket price will not be as affordable as they are now at the Old Barn. Fans will not be able to order tickets on StubHub for 6 dollars the day of to go to the game. (Photo Credit: Flickr/Neo-nimajus)
Another reason that Brooklyn should solve the problem is because the smaller capacity will make the seats more exclusive. Barclays will have an estimated 14,500 attendance capacity for hockey, which is over 2,000 less seats than they are trying to fill in the Coliseum now.
There are Isles fans that are in hiding and refuse to give their money to a product that they feel is inferior to the NHL standard. It is sad but true. That is how bad it has gotten in Isles Country.
Fact is, the Islanders will be able to sustain a home ice advantage no matter where they play, if they are able to start winning.
Yes, once 2015 rolls around they can sustain the attendance with trendy, hipster fads just like the Nets did earlier this year. But in order to keep those new fans, they will need to win consistently. (Photo Credit:Flickr/squirrel83)
There is no concrete solution that can be implemented as the Isles flounder through another season. Looking through a fans' perspective, it is hard to feel at home surrounded by rivals.
If fans feel that way, how are the players feeling? It has to irk the competitive John Tavares to hear the home team get booed. It has to anger Evgeni Nabokov to hear cheers when he lets in a game tying goal.
This is not giving the team a pass for their horrendous home record, but people need to understand that besides travel accommodations and sleeping in their own bed, there is no actual home ice advantage for the home team on Long Island.
The Isles have been a great team on the road and looked superb at times. So maybe fans will ask 'why can't they play well at home if it is just like another road game?'
It is not that easy. It has to be a mental let down when players skate in their home building surrounded by fans of the other team.
The situation is deflating and embarrassing. There is no coincidence that their record and play at home reflects those two descriptions. (Photo Credit: Flickr/Dougtone)
They will try and right the wrongs in front of, what it sure to be, a sea of red as the Ottawa Senators come in for a game of Sunday.