The New York Islanders are starting a brand new relationship with their new home: The Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The relationship has gotten off to a bit of a strange start as for the second preseason game against the Devils, there was no food in the press room for the working media. It stems from the prices that Barclays is charging the team to pay off ice officials and media.
It is customary on game days for all professional teams to have meals available for purchase by the media and to provide team and NHL employees working the event with such. No such food or drinks were made available before or during Wednesday night’s preseason game against the Devils as the dining room remained empty.
“Islanders ownership and management have decided not to provide media dining tonight. We apologize for any inconvenience. Sincerely, Barclays Center,” arena management said in a statement.
An Isles source claimed the prices being charged by Barclays Center catering are “exorbitant,” while an arena official countered that what the Islanders are being charged to provide food is “industry standard.” (…)
“Barclays Center has held over 600 events and no one ever has complained about the food pricing,” a source familiar with the disagreement said. “Barclays Center has discounted its food for the media for both the Nets and the Islanders by 50 percent. The Islanders perhaps have decided the media isn’t that important to them.”
Granted the Islanders are used to a media group that’s basically Newsday and … well, Newsday. So if there was no media and they weren’t fed, did they really go hungry? But alas in Brooklyn, everybody notices everything. Don’t cry too much for the media, as a pre-game meal usually comes with a $5-$8 charge to eat, often times with the cost going to charity. So that money would just go towards the regular fare in the arena, and if you’re in Barclays, that includes Junior’s Cheesecake. (Mmmmmm.) But for the media, it’s about convenience, and let’s face it: It’s a perk of the job. When that perk doesn’t come? People are going to know about it. And you don’t want a scribe talking about a bad outing by Jaro Halak on an empty stomach. So it behooves the Islanders and the arena to get something done.
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)