The following is a 'review' I wrote of my first (and last) trip to Nassau Coliseum, for the Rangers vs. Islanders game on 3/5/09
I'm walking up to it from the abomination of a parking lot, and the first thing that catches my eye is that they are pimping the lighthouse project with banners all over the outside of the arena. Smart idea I guess. I walk up to the main gate and there are no escalators or anything, you just walk right in. It kind of reminded me of Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton (where the Devils ECHL team plays). There's only one main hallway in the entire building that you use to access the seats, so it's pretty crowded and tough to move around. Anyway the game is starting so i get to my seat.
Sitting down is usually a pleasant experience whenever I've been standing for awhile, but here it feels like I've fallen into a hole slightly bigger than the proportions of my ass so that my feet are sticking out and I cannot move. Also the seat cushion feels like that 1970s couch your parents used to own, that you probably didn't think of at the time but now regret ever sitting on. Pretty terrible to say the least.
The seats are way too close together. The sight lines aren't horrible but from where are sitting (section 309, row L), you can't see the jumbotron. Like if a player decides to flip dump out of the zone, you're going to lose sight of the puck. I'm sure this isn't a problem down a little bit lower, but we weren't in the last row of the building or anything. Still you can see the action because the seats are pretty vertical.
I've met some good Islanders fans, but I assure you they aren't sitting anywhere near me in this place. The guy next to me is sending a text message when an Islanders fan behind him starts reading the contents of the message aloud, which prompts a verbal fracas between the two.
Everything dies down...until about 30 seconds to go when all of us Rangers fans start to stand and cheer. As soon as the game ends the guy next to me turns around and catches a punch right in the jaw, followed by about 15 more cheap shots from the douche Islanders fan on higher ground. I pull the Rangers fan back but he keeps getting hit and there's not much he can do. I have free shots at the Islanders fan's head but i don't take them because I have no leverage, and plus I don't feel like getting snuck and/or going to jail. Anyway the fight breaks up and everyone goes their separate ways because the frail 60 year old female security guard is completely oblivious to everything going on.
Getting out of this place is a b* and it takes 25 minutes just to get on the highway. However it's a fun trip and a good win after some horrible hockey.
- Marriot bar right next to the hotel, is way nicer than anything the coliseum has
- No escalators
- Right by Hofstra University (i hung out w/ my cousin before the game)
- Average to poor sightlines from the corners
- Terrible seating arrangements
- One hallway, crowded
- They stopped selling beer 10 minutes to go in the 2nd
- Full frontal urinals
- Horrible traffic if you're driving to the game, and getting out of the parking lot
- Terrible, terrible hockey. I mean both teams looked atrocious.
- My ticket cost $70, whereas my seat at the garden is exactly half that price.
There are more cons (and maybe even pros) but i want to stop thinking about this already. The building was about 50/50 Rangers fans and Islanders fans. All in all, this place really makes me appreciate Madison Square Garden.