Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark announced today that the team has heard the fans criticism of the new goal horn, and will be using the original Nassau Coliseum horn instead. Yormark, in an interview with The Michael Kay show on ESPN Radio, said he had been overseas this week and upon his return and meeting with his staff, decided to “do the right thing”.
Yormark also called on Islander fans to be a bit more accepting of change, in a hope to find a “balance” between the traditions of the Isles as we know it, and the new fan base that Yormark is trying to attract. He went on to say he “didn’t appreciate the way” the fans went about voicing their opinion by “attacking” the teams, Barclays, and his own Twitter handles. You can listen to the entire 10 minute interview with Michael Kay and Don LaGreca here.
I’m going to try to say this in a way that hopefully we all can understand, even if you don’t agree with, but Brett Yormark is right. Isles fans have stomped their feet and shouted about everything and anything that the Barclays Center has done. I’ve personally been a fan of the team for 31 years, so I know how deep the tradition runs. I also know how poorly a lot of things were managed in the lean years of the mid-to-late 90’s. What Yormark and his staff are trying to do is to grow the Islanders fan base, which in turn should lead to a sold out building, which should lead to more revenue that the Isles front office can use to put together a team that can win for years to come.
No, it will not be the old barn. Guess what? Even a renovated Coliseum wouldn’t be the old barn. Yes, they added a third jersey that got mixed reviews, to put it kindly. Yes, they tinkered with a new goal horn because, as Yormark put it, they were “looking for something authentic to bringing the team to an urban market,” but they’ve also been receptive to most of the feedback they’ve gotten from Isles fans about tradition. As Yormark says in the interview, they’ve brought over Paul Cartier and his organ, Roger Luce will continue as the PA announcer, and after hearing feedback about the banners, they’ve decided to hang them all as well.
For years the Islanders toiled in the basement of both the standings and the attendance figures. Do we really want to go back to that? Do we, as a fan base, really want to offend and alienate the CEO of the building that offered the Islanders a place to flourish, instead of leaving for another country or time zone? I truly believe that Brett Yormark is listening to Isles fans, but if we continue to berate Barclays and the team for every little change, he may not be so willing to attentive in the future.
I know that for many, moving from Nassau is still an open wound, but the only thing that could begin to make it heal is to win hockey games. Alternate jersey’s, ice girls and goal horns are all inconsequential if the team doesn’t win, which is exactly what the Islanders, Barclays, and Yormark want to do.
Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below.