Islanders’ playoff process frustrating fans who aren’t renewing season tickets

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Four decades later, the Coliseum is once again the Room Where It Happens.

And though there is room to accommodate all of the club’s season-ticket holders, the process of buying tickets for the playoffs — and particularly this semifinal round against the Lightning that picks up at the Old Barn with Game 3 on Thursday — has been a frustrating one for a number of subscribers.

The Post has received multiple emails from longtime subscribers complaining that they have been relegated to the back of the line and sent through a laborious process while the team has given priority to those who have purchased subscriptions for the arena at Belmont that will open next season.

Michael Cosentino — the club’s senior vice president, ticketing and premium — discussed the matter with The Post on Wednesday.

“We have allowed our longest-tenured members first access to seats. No one has jumped the queue with those who have been with us for several years,” Cosentino said. “We certainly are mindful of that.

New York Islanders fans celebrate a goal
Several Islanders fans has expressed frustration to The Post over the postseason ticket-buying process.
Corey Sipkin

“We had a very high renewal rate into UBS Arena, but if people chose not to renew and are no longer going to be members in the future, they’re still in the queue, it’s just their tenure is reflected at the end of the line.”

Translation: If you have had season tickets since Mike Kaszycki and Andre St. Laurent were the young guns in the middle but did not renew for next year, your tenure would be reset to sum zero. Again, though, you are guaranteed access to tickets.

“We would have wanted to show you as much reason to renew at UBS Arena and really shown as much love as we can to earn that support,” Cosentino said. “But if people made the choice not to stay, they would be at the end of the queue but they would still have access.

“It’s tight because we have sold out at UBS Arena where we have about 15,000 subscriptions, including our premium club seats, but there are tickets available for all existing subscribers.”

Tuesday there was a “glitch” in the ticket-buying process through which subscribers are sent to an online portal. In essence, it crashed. But the situation has been rectified.

“There was just a flood of people going in at the same time, so there was a glitch and we had to pause our online sale,” Cosentino said. “But no one jumped the queue who had just come on board. There was nothing happening where people couldn’t get seats. We just had to pause and picked up [Wednesday].

“It’s been an amazing response from our members, and we’re so grateful. It’s unfortunate this process wasn’t perfect, because we wanted to show our gratitude and make it an easy process for them.”

Season subscribers generally are guaranteed their seat location for the playoffs. But that has not been the case here as the organization has had to contend with and adapt to shifting state regulations regarding COVID-19.

“We’ve done our best to ensure we’ve abided by socially distanced or non-vaccinated inventory,” Cosentino said. “Coming off [Tuesday’s] state announcement, we’re going to have approximately one-third of the stadium set aside for non-vaccinated people, though vaccinated people can choose to sit there as well.

“We’d have loved to give everyone their same seats, but it’s just not possible. Again, we want to ensure there is a ticket for everyone. That means for a client since 1972 or a client who’s picking last.”

“It’s an exciting time for us. We want everyone to be able to share in it.”

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