The Empire State Building is one of New York City’s most famous landmarks and you know you’ve made it when it shows you some love.
On Thursday night, New York’s most-famous building will light up orange and blue for the Islanders. Brock Nelson and Nick Leddy were on hand during the day, taking part in a ceremonial lighting, before heading up to the 103rd floor.
“This is awesome,” Leddy said, looking out over lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. “Especially having never been up here. It’s definitely a cool experience. I was definitely looking forward to coming here.”
Nelson and Leddy both hail from small-town Minnesota, so while Long Island may be more their speed, they – and their teammates – are embracing the new, unique opportunities of playing in city limits.
“There’s 1700 people back home [in Warroad, MN],” Nelson said. “This is a big change, but definitely a neat experience to be up here.”
Earlier in the day, Thomas Hickey and former Islander Eric Cairns were part of a group, which included NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that rang the bell at New York Stock Exchange.
For tourists atop the (1,454-foot-tall building), the view on display changed focus from the New York City skyline to blue-and-orange-clad Nelson and Leddy. The Islanders posed for pictures and signed autographs, likely winning over some new fans – only a few blocks away from Madison Square Garden. Like Leddy and presumably many of the tourists, Thursday was also Nelson’s first time atop the Empire State Building.
“I’ve never done an interview on top of a building before,” Nelson said. “It’s pretty neat to be out here, experience this and kick off the year and to see the city from a different perspective.”
Their perspective will change again Friday, as an exciting series of firsts for the Islanders culminates with their season opener, the first regular-season game at Barclays Center. Buy tickets here.