Brooklyn is the most populous of the five boroughs but that doesn't mean fans will flock to the Barclays Center to watch the Islanders in action starting in 2015.
Or does it?
To get a sense of the enthusiasm, or lack thereof, ESPNNewYork.com headed over to Barclays on Wednesday, and chatted with a few folks outside the new building to try and capture the mood.
Gregory Wortham, a 50-year-old Park Slope resident, told us he's been an Isles fan for 35 years and thinks BK will dig the Isles. "The fans we have out in Long Island will make the trip because we have a lot of hard-core fans," he said. "I also think that we're going to beat the Rangers."
Tim Watson, a 28-year-old from Sunset Park, and Wortham looked like best buds as they bonded over the impending move, though they had never met before. He said he has "mixed feelings" about the move, but he's happy that his girlfriend told him she'd embrace the team now more because they will be closer to her. "My father is a fan, and his father was," the sort-of-pumped Watson said, alluding to the emotions that bubble up when substantial change occurs.
George DaSilva, age 36, was checking out the buzz at the arena. He greeted Isles legend Butch Goring as Goring laced up a tie and rushed into the building before the 1 p.m. press conference to announce the jump. DaSilva's a Rangers fan who's psyched for a hockey subway series. The Westbury, Long Island resident is such a Rangers rooter, his license plate says "30King," in honor of the Rangers' goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist. He showed me a jpeg from his phone. "I'm purely a Rangers fan," he said when I teasingly asked if he might allot some of his passion to the Brooklyn squad.
Brandon Simmons, from Flatbush, called himself a "hockey fan in general." He's happy the team will remain the New York Islanders rather than the Brooklyn Islanders, and he sees the Isles as being a team ready to excel in the near future. The 24-year-old said hockey, on top of a hoops franchise, won't be too much, too soon, for the borough.
A young man in an Isles jersey named Harris Peskin, age 21, described himself as "devastated" because his dad has been a season ticket-holder since 1972. "It's like a part of you is just gone," said Peskin, who grew up on the Island and now lives in Brooklyn. He actually helped lobby to try and keep the team in Uniondale, and thinks the team leaving will leave a large economic hole. He said he will embrace the team in the new home base, but isn't sure if the borough as a whole will.
OK, now it's your turn: Use the comments below to tell us what you think of the move.