New York Islanders moving back to Long Island

20 December, 2017, 00:46 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • Jack Fenty, of Garden City talks with

Jim Baumbach of Newsday reported on Monday afternoon that New York State will announce the winning bid to re-develop the land near Belmont Race Track in Elmont, NY.

The Islanders have until January to opt out of their 25-year lease at Barclays Center, though co-owner Jon Ledecky said recently the Islanders would play in Brooklyn during the 2018-19 season, regardless of how their quest for Belmont Park played out. A spokeswoman for Empire State Development, the state agency that controls the site, declined to comment.

The Islanders' bid was submitted by New York Arena Partners, a limited liability company whose partners include the hockey team, a development group tied to New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon, and a third group whose investors include Madison Square Garden.

However, the Islanders' situation was seemingly more dire than NYCFC's.

NYCFC's bid featured "a 26,000-seat open-air stadium in addition to 400,000 square-feet of space for retail, a 5.2-acre community park and a 2-acre soccer facility".


The Islanders beat out New York City FC of the MLS for the right build a new home on Long Island.

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. Both were presented at a public meeting on December 10, and either could be selected Wednesday.

The property set aside for the new hockey arena borders on the Cross Island Parkway adjacent to the racetrack's grandstand.

Discussions for development of Belmont Park began 12 years ago, but initially did not include a sports arena. There is a Long Island Rail Road stop at Belmont Park, which most likely would need to undergo further renovation to accommodate increased usage. Earlier this year, however, NYRA constructed a second turf course at Aqueduct, which presumably would enable it to keep a healthy schedule of turf racing in the event more dates needed to be held at Aqueduct.

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