It's small, outdated and the bathroom lines are endless, but for the New York Islander faithful, Nassau Coliseum has been a second home since first opening its doors in 1972. With the team slated to make the 30-mile move west to Brooklyn's Barclays Center next season, Uniondale's self-proclaimed barn will rock once more through the Stanley Cup Playoffs, beginning with the Capitals this Sunday.
Postseason play is the proper way to close the curtain on an arena rich with history and tradition, and the Islanders will see big price premiums on the secondary ticket market through their final home games this year. According to TiqIQ, the average secondary price for Islanders playoff tickets in the quarterfinals is $319.88.
Interestingly enough, however, such a price won't top that of 2013's first round against the Penguins, when tickets averaged $342.22 on the secondary market. That year, the Isles would go on to fall to Sidney Crosby's team in six games, playing in their first playoff series since 2007.
2015 has been a year of rejuvenation in Long Island, and the building woes since the franchise's four Stanley Cup-run in the early '80s have changed to optimism for a core of young talent. Captained by potential Hart Memorial Trophy nominee John Tavares, this season's Islanders boast a bevy of twenty-something stars like Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Nick Leddy, Josh Bailey and Ryan Strome. Leddy, along with Johnny Boychuk, front one of the NHL's top defensive lines. Both signed lucrative long-term deals during the season that will keep them in Islander blue through the 2022 season.
For the Capitals, it'll be a much cheaper story at the Verizon Center in D.C. during the first round of the postseason. With Games 1, 2 and 7 (if necessary) being held in the nation's capital, the average secondary price for Capitals playoff tickets is $232.70. That's 27.3 percent cheaper than what the Islanders are posting on the secondary market. Despite both the Islanders and Capitals owning 102 points at regular season's end, the Capitals take home ice advantage during the first round.
Islanders tickets at home during the regular season averaged at $120.02, which marks an Islanders playoff premium of 166.5 percent. The Capitals averaged a $100.91 ticket for games at the Verizon Center. The team's four potential home games in the first round have generated a 130.4 percent premium over regular season average.
It's been 22 years since the Islanders last won a playoff series. That came in 1993, when the team stretched its season into the Conference Finals against Montreal. The Isles have clinched just seven postseason berths since then, failing to find their footing in the post-Al Arbour era.
For one of the most cherished franchises in the league, one last goodbye is in order at Nassau Coliseum this spring. While the Islanders will return to play in their native arena for a slew of games next year, a sense of nostalgia will flood the rafters for as long as the team remains alive during the playoffs. And rightfully so, as the team looks to add one final memory of hoisting the Cup come June.