Photo of a New York Islanders game vs. the Buffalo Sabres at Nassau Coliseum.

Image Credit: Doug Kerr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman stated two weeks ago that the New York Islanders’ Belmont Park arena project is still on schedule for construction to begin in May 2019. The project will include the construction of a new home arena for the Islanders, a new hotel, and a mixed-use development adjacent to the arena. The New York Islanders are splitting their home games this season at both the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.

The 435,000 square foot mixed-use development will include the following.

  • A 250-room hotel
  • A movie theater
  • Numerous bars and restaurants
  • 30,000 square feet of office space
  • 10,000 square feet of community space
  • Various parking garages and surface lots to accommodate 7,000 vehicles

The New York Islanders’ ownership recently concluded a public comment period which was preceded by an environmental impact study. Dominick Longobardi, the Mayor of Floral Park, New York, has expressed concerns over how the arena’s construction will impact traffic, and the daily lives of Elmont, New York residents. The Belmont Park arena project is estimated to cost more than $1B to complete and has set a target completion date of October 2021. The project will be overseen by the Oak View Group, Sterling Equities, the Scott Malkin Group, New York Arena Partners, and Madison Square Garden. The arena will be designed by a trio of companies including Populous, Stantec, and JRDV Architects.

The 19,000 seat arena will be located between Cross Island Parkway and Hempstead Turnpike and adjacent to the Belmont Park Racetrack. The arena is being financed privately and will not require the use of public tax dollars. The New York Islanders are currently dead last in NHL attendance for the 2018-2019 NHL season. The Barclays Center has been proven to be an unsuitable arena for hockey with its poor ice conditions, poor lighting, various seat obstructions, small capacity, and long distance from the Islanders' fan base. The arena, however, is a perfect venue for basketball and is also home to the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. The New York Islanders organization also explored Willets Point, which is adjacent to Citi Field (New York Mets), as a potential site for their new arena.


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