Islanders bid to be selected for Belmont Park arena

Rachel Hardy
December 21, 2017

The Islanders plan to build an 18,000-seat, year-round arena that would host a 150 events annually. In addition, it would have 435,000-square feet of space for retail, a hotel with 200 to 250 rooms and a 10,000-square foot "innovation center".

State officials confirmed the deal Wednesday ahead of a formal announcement. "This site will be the home of economic development".

The state-run Empire State Development Corp. announced in July a request for proposals to develop vacant and underutilized parking lots at the racetrack. As you would expect, Islanders owner Jon Ledecky received the loudest ovation. Beginning with the 2015-16 NHL season, the team has spent the past several years at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, which originally opened for the National Basketball Association and has been criticized by fans and players alike as being a poor venue for hockey.

The Islanders will stay in Brooklyn through the end of next season.

After the Islanders leave Brooklyn, the team may be able to temporarily return to the Nassau Coliseum while the new facility is being built, Cuomo has suggested.

The New York Islanders have been awarded the right to develop Belmont Park, according to people close to the negotiations.

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State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), who co-hosted a hearing on the dueling proposals last week, said the development would benefit Elmont, Floral Park and the communities surrounding Belmont Park.

Not surprisingly, fans applauded the reports the team would be headed back across the city limits to Nassau County.

Scott Malkin and Ledecky paid $485 million for the Islanders in 2014 but didn't take control of the franchise until 2016. He says the team is part of the identity and culture of Long Island.

The Islanders played at the Nassau Coliseum in Hempstead from 1972 until 2015 but have spent the last two seasons sharing Barclays Center with the NBA's Brooklyn Nets.

The New York Islanders may finally have a solution to their permanent home.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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