The Elbow staff
NEW YORK, NY – The Staten Island Skate Palace, a local ice arena that seats 2,000 patrons, has rejected up to 15 requests from the New York Islanders to play regular season NHL games there.
With the Barclays Center potentially opting out of its lease agreement with the team at the end of the 2018-19 season, reports indicate that the Islanders have been frantically calling local arenas about signing a long-term lease.
"I didn't go into this business to lose money," rink owner Jerry Walthouse said today. "And I'm sorry, I just can't justify having the Isles play here. I love the team, but it just makes no financial sense to me."
The Staten Island Skate Palace is the fourth most popular spot in the borough for children's birthday parties. It offers packages for groups between five and 30 kids. Skate rental is $5 per child and there's a three-for-one special on day-old hot dogs at the concession stand.
On Mondays and Wednesdays, it hosts children's games, with all other weekdays booked out for beer league hockey.
"Our schedule is booked up each winter," the 72-year-old owner said. "I don't have any nights free to offer another silly amateur hockey team."
The arena was built in 1959 and has undergone just one minor renovation in its history, to improve the plumbing in the women's washrooms.
An unnamed source in the Islanders organization told The Elbow that if the team did move in, it would be the second best facility the team has played in in the past two decades.
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