The New York Islanders played an afternoon game at home on Monday, which was Columbus Day in the U.S. and Thanksgiving Day in Canada. (It may have been a holiday of some kind in many other countries, but I'm not that worldly and it takes a special kind of dedication for our non-North American friends to follow a team in the Eastern time zone.)
It's something they've done a lot over the years -- including other Monday bank/school holidays -- during the ownership of Charles Wang.
In some ways, this family-oriented tradition was tailor-made for the stereotypical "suburban life" Kate Murray held so dear in Nassau County. Now that they're in Brooklyn, and with people examining attendance to judge the mood, and with Wang's majority ownership transitioning away soon, there is some question whether it will continue.
Bill Daly at least alluded to the question in some interesting quotes on the tradition Monday, the first game he took in at Barclays. Via SNY's Islanders Point Blank:
"It is as much a club decision as it is a league decision," Daly said. "The Islanders have typically wanted to play in this daytime slot. They believe it's kind of a family friendly event, get more kids out here, and you see the stands today.I think to the extent you have the ability to do that and want to connect with families and be more friendly to families. I applaud that. Whether that changes going forward time will tell."
Attendance at Barclays Monday was hardly spectacular. But in the above post IPB's Christian Arnold also included a quick rundown of the attendance on Columbus Day the last several times it was played at the Coliseum. It's a good bet a look at other days like President's Day or MLK Day would show similar results.
At least based on one example so far, Nassau or Brooklyn doesn't appear to make much difference for this game: It's hard to fill the building for an early-season Monday afternoon game.
This isn't just a matter of filling seats, however. If you have young kids, so much of attending a game depends on your ability to get to the game -- and home -- in a reasonable amount of time. And your location is a big part of that.
If the Isles are reaching a whole new chunk of families and kids who had Monday off and could get to Barclays easily, it may be worth a two-thirds full building. (All available tickets were reportedly sold Monday, but it's quite possible big chunks of those were for groups, schools, organizations that had tickets but couldn't use all of them.)
So here's a poll for you and your experience: Has this holiday afternoon timing ever helped you see a game you otherwise wouldn't? Do you like these games? If you don't like them, does it matter that the Isles use a handful of their 41 home games on this kind of time slot?