With plenty of dignitaries on hand, the New York Islanders broke ground Monday on their $1.3 billion Belmont Park arena project, heralding the beginning of construction.
Though there are a few lawsuits challenging the new Islanders arena, New York Arena Partners, which includes Islanders ownership, Sterling Project Development (controlled by New York Mets owners), and arena developer Oak View Group, went ahead with the groundbreaking. The project’s current scope calls for a 19,000-capacity arena to be the centerpiece of surrounding development that includes a 250-room hotel, 350,000 square feet of retail space, and more. The new arena is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2021-2022 hockey season. Over the next two years, construction of the arena, hotel and retail village is expected to create 10,000 jobs and generate $2.7 billion in economic activity. By 2024, the project is expected to sustain 3,200 new full-time jobs, produce $858 million in annual economic activity and generate tens of millions of dollars in new annual tax revenue.
As part of the groundbreaking, it was announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that the Islanders would play 28 regular season games at the Nassau Coliseum during the 2019-2020 season, seven more than previously planned. In total, 68 percent of the team’s regular season home games during the 2019-2020 season will now be played at the Coliseum.
“The Islanders belong on Long Island–and today we start building the state-of-the-art home this team and their fans deserve while generating thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity for the region’s economy,” Cuomo said. “With seven more Islanders games at the Coliseum this season, fans will have even more opportunities to see their favorite team and generate momentum for the move to their new home in two years. At the end of the day this project is about building on two great Long Island traditions–Belmont Park and the Islanders–and making them greater than ever.”
Renderings courtesy New York Arena Partners LLC.
RELATED STORIES: Floral Park Sues Over Belmont Park Arena Project; New York Islanders Arena Project Earns Final State Approvals; State Board Approves Belmont Park Arena Project; Islanders Belmont Park Arena Proposal Up for Approval Thursday; Islanders Arena Plan Moves Forward; Ledecky: Belmont Park Arena Groundbreaking Expected This Summer; Bettman Anticipates Islanders’ Arena Groundbreaking in Coming Months;