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The Islanders' Move: A Harbinger of Suburban Decline?

The Islanders asked Long Island for a more urban stadium. Voters refused, and the rest is history.
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Reuters

The NHL’s New York Islanders recently announced that they'll be moving to Brooklyn, playing in the new Barclay's Center starting in 2015. It may seem like a simple, 30-mile move from one arena to another. But really, it's just one more reminder that the mid-century suburb has peaked.

Critics are predicting that the move is the beginning of the end for the Nassau Coliseum, located in the planned suburb of Uniondale.  It’s now the second oldest arena in the NHL (the oldest, Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden, saw a sweeping renovation before last season). It’s also the second smallest NHL venue, with only Winnipeg (a franchise that sold out each of its home games last season) holding fewer seats. With changing times and few improvements, the Coliseum had long been seen as the biggest burden for the Islanders’ future, leading to frequent rumors of relocation.