Bettman: Brooklyn would be hard for Islanders fans

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says Brooklyn may not be a viable

potential destination for the New York Islanders because it’s hard

to reach for the team’s fan base in Long Island and Queens.

Bettman reiterated Friday that the league ideally wanted the

club to remain in Nassau County. The Islanders plan to leave

outdated Nassau Coliseum after their lease expires in 2015.

Nassau voters rejected a $400 million referendum last year for a

new arena.

Bettman said at an Associated Press Sports Editors meeting that

the league was helping the Islanders explore their options ”in the

metropolitan area” and that moving the team to outside New York

was not currently being considered.

The Islanders will play the New Jersey Devils in an exhibition

this fall at the new Barclays Center, the future home of the NBA’s

Nets. January’s announcement of that game sparked talk of the club

relocating to Brooklyn.