Fans will be back at the Coli! Starting on February 23rd stadiums and arenas in New York will be allowed to reopen for sports and musical performances under strict parameters as announced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Thankfully for us Islanders fans this means that we will be able to see our Islanders at Nassau Coliseum for one last ride. The Islanders are playing their final season at Nassau Coliseum. Their new home arena, UBS Arena, plans to open October of this year. Once the Isles are at Belmont they will be able to see over 17,000 people assuming that COVID-19 limitations are over. The opening of UBS arena is extremely exciting for all Islanders fans but having the final season at Nassau Coliseum with no fans just doesn't seem right.
"That's a better question for Lou. As a coach and I can speak for the athletes...we would really enjoy the fans back." -Barry Trotz on Governor Cuomo allowing arenas to open to fans
Thankfully because of this announcement earlier today the Islanders will hopefully be able to finish this season with fans in attendance. The Islanders first home game after the February 23rd deadline is against the Boston Bruins at 7pm. It has been almost one year since fans have been able to watch an Islanders game in person and for many people this news is an incredible relief. The last Islanders home game with fans before the COVID-19 shut-down at Nassau Coliseum was on February 29, 2020 against the Boston Bruins. The Islanders lost that game 4-0 and that that game was also Butch Goring's jersey retirement night. The New York Islanders will be able to host 10% capacity which means 1,390 fans per game. The New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres will also be able to host fans starting on the 28th, and can also host 10%. The New York Rangers will be able to host 1,800 fans and the Buffalo Sabres will be able to host 1,900 fans. This is absolutely incredible news and all of us cannot wait to be able to see New York Islanders play hockey in person again!