BROOKLYN — Sports fans got a first official glimpse of the New York Islanders' future home Tuesday when the Barclays Center posted a photo of the arena's configuration for ice hockey.
The Islanders, who are moving from Nassau County to Brooklyn as soon as 2014, will play the first hockey game at the $1 billion arena on Sept. 21 with a pre-season exhibition game against the New Jersey Devils, according to a tweet from the Barclays Center's feed.
The photo showed the arena, designed first and foremost for basketball, all but eliminates one lower-level, end-seating area. The unconventional retrofit will leave the scoreboard off center, overhanging a blue line rather than the red line.
But while the Barclays Center will offer the league's smallest capacity at 14,500, the move will provide a welcome boost for a franchise that for years has languished at outmoded Nassau Coliseum while drawing the league's worst attendance.
Whether the Islanders will keep their name after moving to Brooklyn is less certain.
While the franchise said the team's name and logo will remain unchanged when the 25-year lease was announced in October, the New York Post reported the Barclays Center — which is taking over the business operations of the team — has enlisted focus groups to explore a complete rebranding.
The Islanders had been scheduled to play an exhibition game at the Barclays Center on Oct. 2 for a test run as ownership mulled the move to Brooklyn, but that game was canceled due to the NHL lockout.