Study ranks UBS Arena worst place for hockey fans

For years, if not decades, the dilapidated Nassau Coliseum was considered one of the worst, if not the worst, in the league. Sure, it had great site lines and the old barn shook during the playoffs, but it lacked all of the modern conveniences the newer arenas have. Islanders supporters understood the criticism, but would proudly defend the Coliseum to the bitter end.

Such criticism for the Isles Rink was forever to end with the opening of their new home in Elmont, NY. However, a study by ranked UBS Arena at Belmont Park, the two-year home of the New York Islandersthe worst place in the NHL for hockey fans by their standards.

November 20, 2021;  Elmont, New York, USA;  Islanders fans line up to enter the UBS Arena ahead of the

Now, before completely dismissing the study, let’s point out that it was based on the average price of an ounce of beer; proximity to public transit; proximity to an outdoor restaurant; and the availability of dedicated on-site parking.

What are you thinking now?

UBS Arena is a fourth generation arena built specifically for hockey fans and Islanders. Its magnificent. It’s everything an Islanders fan could dream of – and there are so many bathrooms!

But you can understand based on the factors that the study was based on how he ranked 32nd in the league. It’s not cheap. When factoring in ticket prices, food, drink and parking, UBS Arena was ranked the 10th most expensive in the league based on the TMR 2021-22 Fan Cost Index.

There’s a ton to do inside the new arena, with no shortage of bars and restaurants, like ESPN Greg Wyshynski pointed this out when he attended the home opening in November 2022. But an outdoor restaurant? In downtown Elmont? Not really.

Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Islanders

The parking situation is improving and will continue to improve.

However, in the first year getting in and out of the arena was a bit of a nightmare as the parking lot was under construction. Fans on many nights resorted to street parking in Elmont to avoid the hassle of getting in and out of the arena parking lot. Even now, taking shuttles to and from Emerald Lot isn’t an ideal experience for fans.

LIRR having a dedicated stop in Belmont is a huge boost – and now it goes both ways, east and west, all season long. Fans are still getting used to it, and we should see its use grow over the next few years, but right now it still seems a bit unnatural for fans to first go to a train station and then hop into a train, then go straight to an arena.

Was this study wrong? Absolutely.

He didn’t take into account all the things that make the UBS Arena one of the most unique and advanced buildings in all of professional sports. Still, based on the criteria, you can understand how it ended up at the very bottom of the list.

If that makes you feel better, Madison Square Garden was 27th.

Ball Arena, home of the Colorado Avalanche, won first place, followed by Little Caesars Arena in Detroit and Columbus Blue Jackets National arena.

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