20 December, 2017
The development plan proposed by the Islanders includes an 18,000-seat arena that, in addition to housing the hockey team, will serve as "an entertainment hub, hotel and retail village".
The state of NY has selected a bid by the National Hockey League franchise Islanders to build an 18,000-seat arena on a 43-acre site at Belmont Park.
Proposals were submitted to Empire State Development, the state's primary business development agency, before its September 28 deadline.
New York Arena Partners, which includes representatives of the Islanders, Madison Square Garden, and the New York Mets, wants to construct an 18,000-seat arena for the Islanders, who now play at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. That property is primarily a parking lot used on Belmont Stakes day; in the off-season, it houses cars for auto dealerships.
After a tumultuous few years for the New York Islanders in Brooklyn, the team is heading back to Long Island, where they belong.
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The Islanders battled the New York City FC soccer team for the spot. The Islanders are scheduled to play at Barclays through 2018-19.
Former Islanders owner Charles Wang moved the team to the Barclays Center after failing to get taxpayer funds for a new arena on the site of the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, the team's home since 1972.
Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky has said the team will continue to play at Barclays Center through next season as they are contractually obligated to do.
Discussions for development of Belmont Park began 12 years ago, but initially did not include a sports arena. The Long Island Rail Road stop in Belmont Park will reopen as well.
The Islanders lease at Barclays can be terminated at the end of 2017.
The arena likely would not be finished by the start of the 2019-20 season as the Islanders and Oak View Group - the development company that has gone in on this bid with the Islanders - would not break ground.