Tracey Cheek, Arts Editor
Most people, myself included, are not good with change. Change involves breaking up your routine and making some serious adjustments.
The New York Islanders have called Nassau Coliseum “home” for over 40 years, but this season they are going through a major change and now have to call the Barclays Center in Brooklyn their “new home.” And so far, the fans have been making it loud and clear that this move is not going to be smooth sailing.
As a Long Islander, I have a 20-minute drive separating me from the lovely Nassau Coliseum. Many nights have been spent in that place, learning and loving all of the traditions that come with it.
The plan is to take those traditions to Brooklyn. However, fans have been getting a glimpse into some of the traditions being left behind on the Island. MTA and Barclays collaborated on a new goal horn for the team. The point of that was to make a new tradition by bringing together the most common mode of transportation to the games—trains and subways. The new horn mimicked the sound of an incoming train. When the fans heard this wimpy goal horn, they went wild on social media. Instagram comments on the @ny_islanders page were exploding with #KeepOurGoalHorn.
The power in the voice of the fans has been huge. Not too long after the premiere of the new horn, the team announced they are bringing back the old one. It’s refreshing to know that they do care about the fans as well as the team during this huge move.
Another big reveal was the new jerseys; black and white jerseys with a hockey stick on them and a little patch with blue and orange. These won’t be worn for every game, yes, but they are incredibly plain, boring, and lacking in personality.
They took away the vibrant blue and orange jerseys with the team name and a picture of Long Island on it. Blue and orange represents the team, as it made for such a unique jersey.
The thought of an hour-long commute to an Islanders game is intimidating. I do not know how to operate subways, but the commute ends up being pretty simple. Also, traveling on the LIRR opens up new opportunities to fans heading to games—“rail-gating.”
Hopping on the train to see a flood of blue and orange jerseys is an experience in itself. Fans have to look at this commute as a fun experience—even though it can put a serious dent in your wallet. You can meet some new people, who are also fans, open a few brews, and you’ll be at the game in no time.
This new home is a big change for the team and the fans. We have to look at the big picture and stop letting the little things, like a measly goal horn battle, get in the way of that.
So, whether you are watching the opening season game on a TV screen or in the fancy upgrade from what was The Barn, make sure you’re chanting “Let’s Go Islanders” at the top of your lungs.