Work could resume on a new New York Islanders arena, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to allow construction on large projects resume as part of his plan to reopen the New York State economy.
Construction of the new arena, set to open for the 2021-2022 NHL season, was halted on March 27 during a state shutdown to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. It had previously been announced the Islanders would play the 2020-21 season at the renovated Nassau Coliseum, the team’s former home.
When construction was halted, more than 330,000 cubic yards of soil have been excavated from the arena site, the entire 15,000 cubic yard concrete foundation has been poured, and approximately 20 percent of the project’s structural steel beams had been installed. This put arena construction ahead of schedule, thanks to a mild winter. In addition, the Long Island Rail Road has commenced design work on the new Elmont Station, which will be primarily funded by the arena developer through a public-private partnership and is the first new, full-time LIRR commuter station built in decades.
“The governor has given some indication that selective construction will start up again in some time frame. So we’re ready to go again,” Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky told ESPN. “We’re working with the contractors. Obviously, the most important thing is that you adhere to social distancing and you make sure the people on site are taking care of themselves. It’s an open-air site, still, so we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to start the construction again when it’s appropriate.”
The privately funded $1.3 billion Belmont Redevelopment Project will construct a 250-room hotel and 350,000-square-foot retail village in addition to a 19,000-seat arena for the Islanders and other events.
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