Photo Credit: Bleacher Report
The New York Islanders have been doing well during this, their inaugural season at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The team is currently third in the Metropolitan Division after winning 7 out of their last 10 games. With a hot streak like this, it would seem as though fans would have nothing to complain about. However, as it was made apparent after an incident involving Barclays Center security and fans, this is not the case.
As noted earlier in the season, many fans were less than pleased with the Islanders new digs citing rude staff, a long and costly commute, and poor sightlines. The team has seen a drop in attendance with capacity in the smaller, new arena failing to reach the levels that the franchise saw last season at Nassau Coliseum.
Last Tuesday night, the New York Islanders had one of their worst games of the season, falling to the Panthers 5-1. The game went off without a hitch, and the action on the ice was kept to a minimum. However, action in the crowd was at an all-time high…and not in a positive way. According to spectator reports, a young woman was attempting to move closer to get a picture of the arena’s score board as a tribute to her late father was going to be displayed. The Barclays Center staff, trained by Disney, are known for being strict and unbending. The young woman did not listen to the security staff and continued to try to get a photo of the Jumbotron. This caused an altercation to take place in which the young woman was allegedly punched by a member of the Barclays security staff. Video of the incident can be found here.
Before the team had moved to Barclays, fans were concerned with the security not knowing how to handle hockey culture and tradition as demonstrated by the arena by not allowing fans to go into the lower bowl to watch pre-game warm ups. The fan base is used to the staff at Nassau Coliseum. Many of the ushers had been there for years, and came to know those who attended games. If the arena was empty, it was never an issue to move up a few rows, or if you wanted to get close to take a picture, more than likely, nobody would have given fans any trouble. The arena had a sense of warmth and community from their security staff. Tradition is an important part of this sport, and while changes needed to made so that the franchise could grow, it is still uncertain whether this was the right change for the team and its fans.
Barclays has yet to comment or release a statement regarding this incident, updates will be provided as they become available.