The New York Islanders are a proud franchise that does not lack passion, dedication and fans. What they have lacked though, are ticket sales.
Only the Phoenix Coyotes ranked lower in attendance during the 2011-12 season. Despite finishing with the fourth worst record at 34-37-11, the Islanders found themselves in the thick of the playoff race for the majority of the year.
According to the same report, the Islanders ranked 11th in attendance during road games.
Do people on the road love the Islanders more than their hometown fans? Maybe teams think they will get an easy win against the Islanders so they ensure they will get to see their team win. That claim goes out the window when considering the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins finished top three in road attendance.
The team is getting better and is loaded with budding stars such as John Tavares and Matt Moulson. They are approaching their first playoff berth in years, so why does this team struggle to fill their seats in their building?
The biggest reason is the lack of transit oriented development that surrounds the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
If you want to go see a game at the Coliseum you better have a car. It even says on the website for Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum that there are no trains on the Long Island Railroad that go directly to the Coliseum. Every other professional sports team in the Tri-State area has at least one train or subway that stops directly at their stadium.
Islander fans don't only live in Long Island. They are spread all throughout New York City and New Jersey as well. Considering that there are no train lines that go directly to the Coliseum, it can make it near impossible to make it to a game on time.
The Islanders have tried to create a variety of plans to build a new arena.
There is a reason why every one of their plans have included direct transportation that goes directly to the new building. As Charles Wang and the Islanders continue to try to come up with a new plan, you can be sure that public transportation that goes directly to their building will be included in those plans.
Christopher Benini is a New York Islanders Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and can be followed here.