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National Hockey League rumors: Islanders to find out Belmont arena fate Wednesday

20 December, 2017, 00:45 | Author: Carla Brady
  • Report | Islanders win bid to build arena at Belmont Park

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 team was on Tuesday was awarded a state contract to build a new arena near the Belmont Park raceway in Elmont, officials familiar with the decision said.

Joining the Islanders in the proposal is Oak View Group, whose investors include James Dolan's Madison Square Garden Co., which owns its namesake arena as well as the Knicks and Rangers, and Sterling Equities, which owns baseball's New York Mets. The latter property is primarily a parking lot that, aside from Belmont Stakes Day, is largely used to house cars for auto dealerships.

It's a day that hockey fans in NY have been waiting a long time for, partially because it has major implications for the team's chances of re-signing superstar center John Tavares.




However, the Islanders' situation was seemingly more dire than NYCFC's. The move will allow the team to eventually leave behind Barclays Center, where it has played since leaving Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in 2015.

NYCFC is looking to build a 26,000-seat stadium (not enclosed), two soccer facilities and a 5.2-acre public park to go with 400,000-square feet of retail space.

The Islanders have been clear in their preference to construct a new arena on a site at Belmont Park. There is a Long Island Rail Road stop at Belmont Park, which most likely would need to undergo further renovation to accommodate increased usage. The Islanders were selected in a two-way contest with the New York City Football Club, a soccer franchise owned by Manchester City Football Club and the New York Yankees. Barclays Center was not built for hockey, a fact that became immediately apparent once the Islanders started playing some preseason games there.

What the plan might mean for the future of Belmont and nearby Aqueduct Racetrack, both of which are operated by the New York Racing Association, is subject to much speculation.

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