Playoffs mark the beginning of a sunset for Ambar in the NHL arena



As the third game of the Stanley Cup playoffs between the New York Islanders and the Boston Bruins was about to begin, there was a roar, followed by a series of chants, followed by another horribly familiar roar. I grew up about 3 miles from the Nassau Colosseum. I started going to the islander games when I was 10 years old. This roar. This echo of Saray is unmatched for at least a few more days.

The Nassau Veterans Memorial Colosseum opened in 1972. It was a modern building at the time. Its oval design with heavily reclining seats puts fans first. Players and performers can feel the fans, not just hear them. The building is so dated that they have to bring portable trailer bathrooms to accommodate the crowd. Still not enough. There are no real corporate rooms or club lookouts here. This is a 1970s arena. The Colosseum of Nassau was nicknamed “The Barn”.

The islanders move into a modern building next to Belmont Racecourse, about 10 miles from the Colosseum. It will be great. However, it won’t be easy to say goodbye to Barn. The Islanders have won four Stanley Cups from their second year of high school to their first year of college. Like Shea Stadium for me, Barn is like home and the fans are like family.

Yes, I will love UBS Arena as much as I love Citi Field, but the memories of my high school, cycling with friends to the Colosseum for a Saturday afternoon matinee with the Islanders or Dr. J and the Nets will forever be imprinted on my head … with a smile.

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