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.
It's good to see a Ranger fan wanting a new arena for the Isles. If the Rangers were in the same unfortunate position as the Isles are in right now, I'd want a new arena for the blueshirts in a heartbeat. Who else is there to hate? The Devils? Flyers? Sure, they're "rivals" but they're not like the Isles/Rangers rivarly. For me as a fan, hockey would lose a lot. The Lighthouse has to be passed if credibility will ever be restored to this franchise.
Oh for sure. As much as I'm supposed to hate everything about the Islanders, they need to stay. A new arena and a renewed focus on developing talent (which I think Snow and company have, stockpiling 2nd and 3rd rounders in the 08 draft and dealing Guerin this year) will bring the rivalry back to the level it needs to be.
If the Lighthouse project doesn't go through and the Isles decide to move, I hope it's right to the new arena in Brooklyn. At least it would still be in New York and still accessible to Isles fans. This whole situation is a shame. A storied franchise such as the Isles deserve better than what their local politicians are giving them. The Lighthouse project is a good idea, and if implemented properly will make a lot of money for the county. Get on with it already.
Good blog. I hope the Isles dont move anywhere. I cant imagine a season without the Rangers-Isles showdowns. Ive been to the Coliseum a few times and it is really bad. You fans deserve much better and maybe more tickets would sell if it was improved. I hope to keep on watching the NYI until my hair falls out and i have moldy dentures.
It's good to see that they're are fans of our arch-rivals hoping for the same as Isles fans. Brooklyn or Queens would be a close second-best shot, but the Isles have to stay at the Coliseum. Some people don't understand the history that is behind this team, and if Snow continues to work the way he has this team will hopefully one day restore itself to the team it used to be. It will take years, but he's on the right path right now. The only obstacle in his way is Nassau County.