Islanders win bid to build arena at Belmont Park

New York Islanders to leave Brooklyn return to suburbs

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.

Though the official announcement is not expected until Wednesday morning, the New York Islanders hockey team has been awarded the bid for a new arena project at Belmont Park, as first reported by Newsday. The purchase price - much more than the $325 million value of the team estimated by Forbes - was based in part on the team having a home in New York City.

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.

A press conference announcing the victor is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Belmont Park racetrack.

NY has gotten off to an 18-12-3 start this season. The Islanders are scheduled to play at Barclays through 2018-19. The Islanders outlined their development plans at a public meeting in Elmont earlier this month. The move follows a contentious run in Brooklyn after a move from the Nassau Coliseum.


The Islanders left Nassau Coliseum in 2015 to play home games at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. It will include a 18,000-seat, year-round arena along with 435,000 square feet for retail, a hotel and what's being called an "innovation center".

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' plan would also require substantial upgrades to the local infrastructure, including parkways and a rail link, none of which were detailed in the submission to Empire State.

The team is now negotiating with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, which operates Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum, on amending their lease.

A spokesperson for the Empire State Development Corp. declined to comment, as did a spokesperson for the New York Racing Association.

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