A sad day for Nassau County!
This is what was echoed by many as the news today broke that following the expiration of their lease at the Nassau Coliseum, our New York Islanders would be packing their bags and moving to the newly opened Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
For me, it was a bittersweet day. Since the referendum failed last year, this is what I thought would happen. Not what I hoped would happen but after observing the happenings of things around here and such what I expected. The timing though is what really caught me off guard. I thought we had at least a couple months to a year before we heard an announcement like this.
Attending the pre season game between the Knicks and Nets tonight at the Coliseum made the news hit me that much more that in not so long the Islanders a team i've loved for so long would no longer be there in a very short time. Many figures of the dynasty were quoted today with their reactions to this news which were all disappointed but relieved that they were able to at least stay in the area. One of those figures was long time play by play guy Jiggs McDonald who had this to say through his facebook, "What a dark day for Nassau County NY politicians and residents." He finished his facebook post with, "Shame on you!!!!" Jiggs is right on with what he said! People voted against the referendum last year for tax reasons, now I cant wait to see their face when they open their bill when the Coliseum no longer exists.
While I am happy they are still here, little things are what I will miss most about the Coliseum. Things like being able to fly 10 minutes down Hempstead Turnpike and be there. Walking around the Coliseum on gameday and seeing the same people there all the time. On opening night in the parking lot toasting the new season with my dad which is something that had become a yearly tradition for us since we got our season tickets a few years ago.
While the arena wont be our home anymore, it doesn't mean memories like those and many others have to disappear with it. Its up to fans like my dad to pass down the memories of the successful years to give fans like me and my cousin Robbie a taste of what it was like to see the team be successful. While we haven't had really any positive memories over the last decade or so its up to younger fans like myself to preserve them and pass them to the younger generation and now the new generation of fans.
I have seen some that are disappointed the team is moving, to them while I understand your disappointment you have to get past that. Just because the building on the outside wont be the same, doesn't mean your memories will be altered and hopefully this new beautiful state of the art home will give us some memories of the positive kind that have been rare for us over the last decade or two.
People should not think of this as the death of the Islanders. They should think of it as the rebirth of a giant, that some day soon will take NYC by storm!! Watch out Rangers and the rest of the NHL, Fort Neverlose has been relocated to Brooklyn. Good luck, you're going to need it!