The New York Islanders are moving to Brooklyn and joining the Nets at the Barclays Center, as first reported by the New York Post. After going years without a major league sports franchise, Brooklyn is now welcoming them one after the next.
On Wednesday morning, the club issued a press release that announced the "New York Islanders & Barclays Center To Make Major Announcement." A press conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Barclays Center but the big news seems to be out.
With Islanders owner Charles B. Wang, Barclays Center owner Bruce Ratner, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman among those scheduled to attend the press conference, it didn't take long for people on Twitter to deduce what the occasion might be.
Chris Botta of Sports Business Journal tweeted that the presence of the Mayor likely signalled the move could even be imminent.
A short while later, Sports Business Journal also reported the move, via an unnamed source.
Bob McKenzie of TSN.Ca reports that the move will occur after the 2014-2015 season when the Islanders lease at Nassau Coliseum expires.
Per 1010 WINS, the Islanders are prepared to sign a 25-year lease at the Barclays Center. For at least one fan, this is all good news. What do you think?
UPDATE 2:08 p.m. EST: Islanders owner Charles Wang confirmed the previously reported move, timing and duration of the new lease at the 1 p.m. press conference, saying "Hello, Brooklyn!"
MORE FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK — Now hockey is coming to Brooklyn.
The NHL's New York Islanders have agreed to move to Brooklyn's Barclays Center starting with the 2015-16 season.
Islanders owner Charles Wang made the announcement at a news conference Wednesday. He opened the session by exclaiming "Hello, Brooklyn!" The lease agreement is for 25 years.
Officials in Nassau County, N.Y., have struggled for years to come up with a plan to either renovate or build a new arena to replace the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which opened in 1972.
Wang had long threatened to move the team from the site when the team's lease expires after the 2015 season. He has complained that the dilapidated building is unsuited for a professional sports franchise.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg says, "Brooklyn is big time and now we have the big league sports to prove it."
Associated Press Writers Jennifer Peltz and Frank Eltman contributed to this report