If Seattle eventually draws an NHL franchise, there's an outside chance it could be the New York Islanders, the team with the second worst attendance in the league despite a proud history and a strong fan base. So why do the Islanders have so much trouble selling tickets when most of the other professional sports teams in the region pack the house?
The biggest reason is the lack of transit oriented development that surrounds the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
If you want to go see a game at the Coliseum you better have a car. It even says on the website for Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum that there are no trains on the Long Island Railroad that go directly to the Coliseum. Every other professional sports team in the Tri-State area has at least one train or subway that stops directly at their stadium.
Islander fans don't only live in Long Island. They are spread all throughout New York City and New Jersey as well. Considering that there are no train lines that go directly to the Coliseum, it can make it near impossible to make it to a game on time.
The Islanders owners have explored a number of plans to build a new arena, and all of them have direct access to rail. Something to think about as we discuss whether there are better alternative sites for a new arena than the Sodo location—walking distance from both Link light rail and the Sounder train—that has already been proposed.