As the Islanders battle the Capitals and Penguins for first place in the East Division with the ultimate goal of winning a Stanley Cup, the franchise is also looking towards what lies ahead this fall and that is moving into their new home UBS Arena at Belmont Park for the 2021-22 season. After years and years of drama, a move to Brooklyn that turned out to be just temporary, and a return to the renovated and downsized Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders are no longer just renting.
This time, it’s home sweet home for the long term on Long Island and the fans have responded by doing their part to ensure an electric atmosphere at the Islanders’ spectacular new barn.
On Thursday, the Islanders announced that over 90% of season tickets for the team’s inaugural season at UBS Arena are sold out. The entire Upper and Terrace Levels as well as eight sections in the lower level and one of the marquee clubs are also sold out. What this means is that the Islanders are now inching closer to selling out every game for their first season at UBS Arena.
And this comes as we’re still navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic six and a half months before the scheduled opening of the building.
“Incredibly happy,” said Mike Cosentino, the Islanders’ Senior Vice-President of Ticketing, Premium and Business Intelligence. “It couldn’t be going any better than the way it is. We had always set the goal of selling out each and every game in our first year, but to be at this position at this time with so many months between now and the opening of UBS Arena completely exceeds our collective expectations.”
There are about 1,000 seats remaining and once those are sold, the Islanders would then compile a waiting list for fans who would still be interested in season tickets. The team is working on plans to provide some benefits to fans who are on the waiting list and it is that list that the Islanders would go to first in the event that any season tickets become available.
It’s hard to imagine that the Islanders have had any kind of season ticket waiting list since the Stanley Cup dynasty years.
“It’s a reality right now that we’re excited about that our demand is going to exceed supply in the near future,” said Cosentino. “That’s just our amazing fans. They’re excited. They love this team more than any fan base that I’ve ever seen in my career in sports and it shows. There’s a sense of pride from our fan base of where we are and where we’re going both in terms of filling the arena and also the team on the ice.”
While UBS Arena is being built for hockey, it’s also going to be an amazing venue for concerts and Islanders fans will have an opportunity to share in that excitement. Regular season ticket members will likely have a limited opportunity to purchase tickets for concerts, but premium suite holders and premium club seat holders will get first access to every show and concert at UBS Arena. There have already been two announced concerts for the Islanders’ new home with those being Eric Church on December 4th and then “The Weeknd” will take the stage on April 7th, 2022.
And there’s more big names on the way.
“The musical acts that are going to come through UBS Arena are going to be second to none,” said Cosentino. “It’s going to be incredible with the amount of shows especially in that first year when a lot of bands and a lot of musicians will be touring because they haven’t in some time.”
These are certainly exciting times for the Islanders and their fans. After reaching the Eastern Conference Final last season, the Islanders are hoping to take care of some unfinished business this season. With a limited number of fans now being permitted to attend games at Nassau Coliseum, there has been a little extra juice in the building and the hope is that New York State will soon increase the allowed capacity. In the meantime, the available tickets for the final six regular season home games at Nassau Coliseum were sold out in a matter of hours.
Get used to the term “sold out” because you’re going to be seeing it a lot the rest of this season and when the Islanders open up UBS Arena this fall. There aren’t many tickets left for the Isles’ first season at their new home and the way things are trending, those are going to go as fast as a Ryan Pulock slap shot.