Standing inside the entrance of the recently-unveiled Barclay’s Center, Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined developer Bruce Ratner, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Charles Wang, the owner of the New York Islanders, to announce the hockey team will relocate to Brooklyn starting for the 2015 season. The Islanders, who will keep their name, join the Brooklyn Nets in the Prospect Heights arena.
‘”It’s a great day for our city,” Mr. Bloomberg declared. “Not long ago, I think it’s fair to say the idea of a big league sports team coming to Brooklyn was considered little more than a pipe dream. Now, not only does Brooklyn have that NBA team it is also about to get a NHL team and we couldn’t all be more excited.”
Mr. Bloomberg next decided to play the role of a stand-up comedian, of sorts.
“Don’t worry, the Islanders are bringing their own silverware, incidentally, so I’ll save you the question, four Stanley Cup championships to be exact. They haven’t won one since the dynasty in the early 80’s, but Brooklyn, I’m sure, will help them get their mojo back,” he said. “And no, ‘Mojo’ is not the name of a hip new Brooklyn neighborhood.”
The mayor also had a gift for Mr. Wang and the team’s general manager, Garth Snow, in the form of two MTA MetroCards. The value of the MetroCards was unknown.
“They’ll be able to use these to get to the Canyon of Heroes in Lower Manhattan for the Islanders Stanley Cup championship parade,” Mr. Bloomberg concluded. “Go Brooklyn, go Islanders!”
As Mr. Bloomberg, a Massachusetts native, left the arena, we shouted after him asking which hockey team he would now root for. After all, now his heart could lie with the Boston Bruins, the New York Rangers, or the Islanders.
“New York!” he slyly shouted back.
Additional reporting by Matt Chaban.