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Islanders Arena Public Hearings Start Tuesday

New York Islanders

Tuesday will bring the first in a series of public hearings on a New York Islanders Belmont Park arena project, part of the ongoing planning process. 

The Islanders and project partners Oak View Group and Sterling Project Development are planning a new arena on land at Belmont Park, with hopes of opening the facility in time for the 2021-22 NHL season. Estimated at $1.2 billion, the development would have the arena as its anchor, with surrounding amenities including retail, lodging, dining options, and a movie theater. A draft environmental impact study on the project was issued last month, and now the plans will be the subject of public hearings over the next three days.

The first of the Islanders arena public hearings will take place Tuesday evening, to be followed by similar meetings on Wednesday and Thursday. Comments will also be accepted in writing until the middle of next month. More from Newsday:

The meetings will take place at the Elmont Memorial Library at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, and at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Officials from Empire State Development, the state’s economic development agency, will record the public testimony. Written comments will be accepted through Feb. 11, state officials said.

The project calls for construction of a 19,000-seat hockey arena and 435,000 square feet of retail space, with restaurants, a movie theater and a 250-room hotel.

Last month, the agency issued a draft environmental impact study showing that the project would increase traffic congestion in the area, even with additional Long Island Rail Road trains running to and from the site on game days.

It has previously been estimated that construction will begin in May, contingent on the project receiving the proper approvals over the coming months. From there, the goal would be to open the arena in time for the 2021-22 season. At that rate, the 2021-22 season would be a big year for the NHL on the facility front, as that is also when a Seattle expansion franchise is slated to begin play at a dramatically overhauled KeyArena.

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