NEW YORK (PIX11)—Hello Brooklyn!
The New York Islanders will call Brooklyn's Barclays Center home starting in 2015.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, team owner Charles B. Wang, and Barclays center developer Bruce Ratner were on hand.
"This has been a very long journey for the Islanders family, starting with our loyal fans, sponsors and employees," Wang said, "And I want to personally thank them for their loyalty and support."
Ratner, who has had a longstanding personal relationship with Wang, said that along with their mutual love of photography the topic of the Nets and Islanders came up regularly when the two met in recent years. "Charles got offers to move the team out of our state, and very good offers," Ratner said. "Charles Wang is the real hero today, he has kept this team in New York State."
Wang, who grew up in Queens, attending Brooklyn Technical High School in Fort Greene and Queens College, had long pushed to find a local solution.
Brooklyn will now boast two professional sports teams, along with the NBA's Nets, and the Barclay buzz is growing. While the Nets will face off against their new crosstown rivals the Knicks on Nov. 1, The Islanders won't be taking the ice, thanks to an NHL lockout. If the league and the player's association can settle their differences by Thursday, an 82-game season starting Nov. 2 could be salvaged. This appears unlikely as of now, as the two sides have not yet begun negotiations.
Pending approval by the NHL, the Islanders would call Brooklyn their new home as of 2015, after their current contract ends.