Some fans apparently took it upon themselves to go home with a few souvenirs after Game 3 on Sunday.
A "handful" of seats were removed from Nassau Coliseum after Sunday's overtime win against the Capitals. In Section 305, the folding, cushioned lower portion of one seat appeared to be pried off, possibly with hand tools. At Tuesday's morning skate, a folding chair was positioned at the seat (Row K, Seat 7) as a placeholder, but workers soon installed a new bottom portion of the seat (green, not blue like others in the section).
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Coliseum staff realized the seat was missing shortly after Sunday's game.
"As part of our best practices, we do a full sweep of the building after every game to assess all damage and make the needed repairs," Coliseum general manager Jerry Goldman told Newsday in an email Tuesday, noting that that process was underway. Goldman said all seats were repaired -- if not color-coordinated -- before the gates opened Tuesday night.
The Islanders, who do not own the building, had no comment other than to say they had been told by SMG, the company that manages the Coliseum, that the "handful" of seats that were removed would be replaced in time for the game.
Goldman told Newsday there was additional security "both inside and out" at the Coliseum to prevent more scavenging.
Fans seemed to be good-natured about it. Jasper Basilere, an Islanders fan from Hinsdale, Massachusetts, joked that the wrench and socket set he brought to dislodge his seat was confiscated as he entered the building (he didn't really bring them).
"Can you blame them?" David Colucci of Huntington, attending the game with Basilere, said of the fans who swiped their seats. "They're leaving and going to Brooklyn. This is our home. I can't blame them . . . If you came here every game and that was your seat? Then it's your right. It's your property."
The seat absconding is the latest black eye for Islanders fans as the team plays its final playoff games on Long Island. Also at Sunday's game, there were reports of violence and vandalism aimed at Caps fans.
"It's a shame if some guys are acting like a bunch of knuckleheads," said longtime Islanders fan John Pinotti, originally from New Hyde Park.
"But there are always going to be idiots everywhere you go."
The Coliseum has always had a reputation as a raucous building, but are Islanders fans taking it too far and getting a bad reputation?
"No way," Islanders fan Kevin Kerman of Mastic said. "That's too small of a sample size to say that Islander fans have a bad rep. I think we are the best fans."