The Islanders kicked off the season with a road trip with a franchise record of 13 games to give time to complete the $ 1.1 UBS arena. It was almost a long journey.
Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group, the arena developer, told Newsday on Sunday that his company and the islanders’ owners had “paid a substantial multi-million dollar fee (to general contractor AECOM Hunt) to help keep the schedule speed up and try to get the guys off the street. “
“When we did we knew we would be in a position where we wouldn’t have what you would love, the luxury of two weeks to train everyone,” said Leiweke. “We had one night to train everyone.”
The Islanders opened the UBS Arena on Saturday evening with a 5-2 loss to the Flames. Leiweke rated the smooth process at the start with a “five” and hoped for a “seven or an eight” on Sunday.
Leiweke reported that the UBS Arena concessions reached a remarkably high volume of nearly $ 1 million for food and drink on Saturday. He figured the number would be lower after the first game and that this would help with the long lines on Saturday.
He said talks are already underway to open a third booth for Shaquille O’Neal-owned Big Chicken to meet demand.
Leiweke also addressed the long lines in the Islanders’ team store, which he believes flow better when there are buyers and no browsers. He just said there were too many browsers on Saturday.
As for the parking and traffic problems at UBS, Leiweke said much of this will be alleviated as drivers become more comfortable with directions and arena staff begin to better guide Parker to the right parking spaces.
“We’ll learn a lot more (Sunday),” said Leiweke. “It’s a better night for us to really test this system because they have at least one game under their belt. If we still have problems with clearing the parking lot in two weeks, we must keep dreaming.” some additional solutions. We’ll know in two weeks, but we’ll keep an eye on it. “