(The scene during the Blue & White game on Wednesday night – Photo by Jason Schott)
The New York Islanders will have a state-of-the-art campus at Barclays Center when they start playing there this fall.
Islanders General Manager Garth Snow, center Anders Lee, and Barclays Center General Manager Steve Rosebrook led a tour of the campus, which is still under construction, before the Blue & White scrimmage on Wednesday night at the arena.
The project is scheduled to be completed in August, about a month ahead of when the preseason is set to begin. The 10,000-square-foot space blends amenities from many locker rooms across the NHL. The design architect is AECOM, and the construction is being done by Hunt Construction Group.
The Islanders locker room will feature custom wood locker spaces, and it is designed in an oval space so players and coaches can communicate easily. There will be a spacious players’ lounge and dining area, treatment and training rooms, coaches’ suite, weight room, X-ray room, therapeutic cold tubs, hot tubs and sauna, state-of-the-art technology, and other amenities.
There will be the latest in video coaching technology, with a meeting room for film review, and smart screens throughout the campus.
Snow said of the Islanders finally getting ready to play in Brooklyn, “There’s been a lot of anticipation over the last couple of years, and really now we’re just weeks away. We have a big opportunity to show some of our prospects tonight. As you can see walking through the concourse or out on the street, all the Islanders jerseys, our fans have been tremendous.”
Lee was asked if he was excited to have new fans in Brooklyn and their longtime fans from Long Island coming to Barclays Center, and he said, “Absolutely, I think it’s going to be a great combination of fans, obviously as many Long Island fans as we can have here is going to be great. We’re excited for the move and for everyone to come with us. It’s going to be a great year, and am looking forward to it.”
Snow said of how dealing with the move has affected his work in the offseason, “I haven’t banged too many nails, to tell you the truth. The people here have done a great job. Obviously, there’s been a lot of preparation and work put into the locker room area and this campus, can’t thank them enough for all the help and look forward to calling this place our home.”
On how much thought he has put into game-day preparation with this facility, Snow said, “You know what, on a game day, players come for morning skate, usually an hour or two hours prior to the skate, stay about an hour after the skate, go back, get some rest and, for a 7:00 game, I think Frans Nielsen is the first player, he gets in about 4:00, so they’re here until about 10:00 or 11:00 at night. It’s a lot of hours spent in the locker room area, and for us to make it this comfortable is a big plus for our organization and, obviously, it’s great for our players.”
Of players possibly staying in the arena after the morning skate instead of leaving, Snow said, “I don’t think they’re going to want to leave here. I know the coaches, they spend lots of hours, Cappy (Head Coach Jack Capuano) on a game day gets to the rink around 7:00-7:30 and doesn’t get home until about midnight, so it’s going to be comfortable for coaches, players, trainers, all the amenities you could ask for. We’re excited about September.”
Lee said of finally seeing this project come together, “It’s really fun to see. It’s coming along so well, to come and see the walls put up and kind of see the way up and how it all makes sense, as you take your clothes off and put on your undergarments and make your way to the locker room. This is a great, easy way to follow through and to relax and, at the same time, get ready for some big games.”