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Barclays Pushing Long Island


Thursday night, Bruce Ratner made a surprise appearance at the Nassau Coliseum to watch the Islanders and as if by magic was interviewed by MSG's Howie Rose about how the Isles need to stay in New York. Then, Friday, Barclays Center announced that it had reached a wide-ranging deal with LIU that basically makes the Blackbirds the arena's home team. Not bad timing, considering that LIU was about to face off (and lose) in the NCAA Tournament.

The two events may or may not be related. Ratner soft-peddled the Islanders coming to Brooklyn, but said he would certainly welcome them. The LIU deal is (probably) more about Brooklyn than Long Island since the arena is one subway stop from the main LIU campus. Still, don't be surprised if the people who own and run both the Nets and Barclays Center start focusing on the Island, with its 7.5 million people from the Verrazano Bridge to the Montauk Lighthouse.