The Islanders Are Bringing Section 329 Back To Life At UBS Arena

Blue And Orange Army

For many years, section 329 was an important part of Islanders games at Nassau Coliseum.  The section, which was located in an upper corner of “The Barn” looking down on the goal that the Islanders defended for the first and third periods and at the runway from the ice to the Islanders’ dressing room, became a landing spot in the early 1990’s for many energetic fans to get cheers and chants going in Islanders Country.  Some fans had season tickets up there while some fans bought individual tickets at the box office asking for a high row in the section.

As the Islanders because to flounder (no pun intended in reference to the fisherman jersey era) in the mid 1990’s, so did the attendance as a whole but specifically in section 329.  But years later, the section came back to life in 2009 with the formation of the Blue and Orange Army, a group that would take up residence in the hallowed real estate of section 329.

It has been a while since the Blue and Orange Army occupied a section with the number 329 officially attached to it, but all you have to do is go to the “Frequently Asked Questions” section about tickets on the Islanders website for the answer to a question had many since plans for UBS Arena were announced…

Will UBS Arena include Section 329?

 YES! YES! YES!

And that was certainly exciting and welcome news for the group that sings, among other things, the “Hey Josh Bailey” song.

“We’re definitely happy,” said James Fess, the head of the Blue and Orange Army.  “We’ve been working closely with (the Islanders).  I think it was probably almost a year and a half ago when they first told us that.  Once it came out on paper and to see the seating chart reflecting it, it’s an awesome thing for all of us in the group.  For me, I couldn’t be happier about it.”

The Islanders Are Giving The Blue And Orange Army A Seating Upgrade:

At UBS Arena, there will a 100 level, a 200 level and a 300 level, but the 300 level only has sections numbered 301 to 326.  Section 329 will be located on the 200 level between sections 228 and 230 directly behind the goal in front of “The Tailgate Bar”.  The Blue and Orange Army will occupy rows in the back of the section in what are being called “safe standing seating” that are similar to supporter sections in soccer stadiums.   These seats will not only be at the back of section 329 but also at the back of the two sections on either side which are sections 228 and 230.

     

“That bar is right there and it gives an extra platform where fans can just come around and hang out,” said Fess.  “I really fell that the (Tailgate Bar) provides the perfect combination for everything to just blend together.”

Finally A Real Section 329 For The Islanders’ Blue And Orange Army: 

The Blue and Orange Army is finally returning home to a real section 329 for the first time in a while.

When the Islanders lost to the Washington Capitals in the opening round of the 2015 playoffs and then Billy Joel closed the pre-renovation portion of the Nassau Coliseum’s history on August 4th, 2015, section 329 was no more…sort of.   The Islanders moved to Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the 2015-16 season but at their new home there wasn’t a 300 level.  At the top of the arena was section 229 which was basically in the same spot as 329 was at Nassau Coliseum.  That’s where the Blue and Orange Army took up shop and they put a “3” over the first “2” on the wall of the section to make them feel right at home.

“It was a collective group idea,” said Fess.  “There isn’t a 300 section so we’re just going to bring up a 329 instead.”

Meanwhile back on Long Island, as the renovations at Nassau Coliseum were nearing completion and tickets went on sale for the first event, a Billy Joel concert in April of 2017, the new seating chart for the Coliseum began to surface on the internet.  It didn’t take long to realize that things were going to change as the 100’s became single and double digits, the 200’s became the 100’s, and the 300’s became the 200’s.  This was all done to mirror Barclays Center as the it was the same management team that was overseeing the renovations of the Coliseum.

For The Blue And Orange Army, It’s Home Sweet Home At The Islanders New Arena:

When the Islanders returned to the Nassau Coliseum on a part-time basis in December of 2018, the Blue and Orange Army returned to their former home in section 329 which had been changed to 229.  So just like they did in Barclays Center, they put a “3” over the first “2” to really make them feel at home since the Islanders were back where they belonged…on Long Island at “The Barn” until a suitable and modern hockey arena could be built.

That place will be UBS Arena.

“It’s really great to see from the organization,” said Fess.  “It feels just awesome.”

A year from now, the Islanders are expected to be playing at their new home and they are bringing with them a storied history and a passionate fan base.  There will be plenty of traditions that make their way west along Hempstead Turnpike from Uniondale to Elmont and now one of those traditions has been restored.

The Blue and Orange Army will call section 329 home.

Islanders fans that are interested in ticket plans for the Blue and Orange Army at UBS Arena should reach out to the group through their social media platforms. 

About the Author

Peter Schwartz

Peter covers the Islanders for New York Sports Day while also writing about general sports in the New York/New Jersey area. In addition to his column, Peter also hosts his “Schwartz On Sports” podcast as he interviews players, coaches, and other sports personalities. He is also currently a sports anchor for WFAN Radio, CBS Sports Radio and WCBS 880 radio while also serving as the public address announcer for the New York Cosmos soccer club. Peter spent 8 years as the radio play by play voice for the New York Dragons of the Arena Football League. He was also the radio play by play announcer for the XFL’s NY/NJ Hitmen in 2001 and the radio play by play announcer for the New York Saints of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League from 1993 to 1996.

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