We watched the New York Islanders opening game at UBS Arena from all 17 bars

NS New York Islanders know their audience.

The team’s lease with Empire State Development prohibits operations at UBS Arena, the team’s new home next to Belmont Park. Those gatherings are part of the culture at the Nassau Colosseum. To offset – and to maximize revenue potential – UBS Arena has more than two dozen adult beverage outlets around the building, including 17 bars open to the public and premium ticket holders.

On Saturday night, the arena finally opened to Islanders fans, as New York hosted The Calgary Flame. To fully understand the UBS Arena fan experience, we started a sociological investigation: watch the match from all 17 of the arena’s official indoor and outdoor bars.

Please note that without this reporter’s instillation while compiling this story, this is perhaps the most challenging aspect of the mission.

Here’s what opening night at UBS Arena looks like inside the watering holes, some of which certainly make the Islanders’ new home unique.

Belmont Hall (5:53 p.m.)

Before we start crawling, let’s talk about pricing. The majority of bars at UBS Arena offer “packaged beer” – you may know it as “cans” – for $17, which is the same price as a high-end cocktail; Wine is $18, while “super premium cocktails” are $19.

When I attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony at UBS Arena on Friday, Belmont Hall looked as if it were going to be the dancing venue. It features an outdoor space with heaters and a ground-floor picnic table, which fans can see as they walk through the front entrance. Inside, it looks like a classic craft brewery, including a window dedicated solely to the sale of beer. The surprising savings, however, are empty for some patrons who say they’ve heard about the place through its association with The Harrison, a popular local eatery in Floral Park. Congratulations to those who figured it out, as it looks like the surrogacy to staff ratio is 1:1.

While much of the interior is brick, there are a few walls plastered with sports and music posters. One of the Islanders’ signs has the names of famous alumni on it. One of those names is John Tavares, who became a franchise pariah after leaving the team as a freelance agent to sign with Toronto Maple Leafs in 2018. Erin Longo gets noticed. The Islanders fan grabbed a Sharpie, walked over to the wall, and drew a big black X over his name.

“Here,” she said, capping the marker. “It’s fixed now.”

https://www.espn.com/nhl/insider/story/_/id/32682806/we-watched-new-york-islanders-opener-ubs-arena-all-17-bars We watched the New York Islanders opening game at UBS Arena from all 17 bars

Subhankar Mondal

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