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Islanders win bid to build new arena at Belmont Park

21 December, 2017, 01:07 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • Report | Islanders win bid to build arena at Belmont Park

State officials confirmed the deal Wednesday, ahead of a formal announcement.

It's hardly the Dodgers going to Los Angeles, but another major sports franchise is leaving Brooklyn.

This team and fan base has endured so much over the last 30 years, the Don Maloney and Mike Milbury years, to the countless owners serving or have served prison time.

Joining the Islanders in the proposal is Oak View Group, whose investors include James Dolan's Madison Square Garden Co., which owns its namesake arena as well as the Knicks and Rangers, and Sterling Equities, which owns baseball's New York Mets.

The NHL team beat out a bid from the New York City FC soccer club, which planned on building a stadium on the site just east of New York City. Ledecky also said it will take the new arena 20 months to be completed once shovels go in the ground, so a temporary return to the remodeled Nassau Coliseum looks likely. The Islanders moved out of their previous home, the Nassau County Veterans Coliseum, in 2015, and now play in Brooklyn's Barclay's Center.

While in Brooklyn, the team has had the worst attendance in the National Hockey League - seating an average of 11,642 fans, well below a sellout crowd of 16,795 - despite relative success that saw them make the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2016 and just one point back from a wild card berth in 2017.


The Islanders played at the Nassau Coliseum from its inception in 1972 until 2015, winning the Stanley Cup every year from 1980 to 1983.

"It's long overdue", Matt Herbert said during the Islanders' 5-3 loss to Detroit on Tuesday night.

"This will be more than an arena", Ledecky said.

"It is a win for the community, big economic development initiative".

The state-run Empire State Development Corp. announced in July a request for proposals to develop vacant and underutilized parking lots at the racetrack.

Nassau County Executive-elect Laura Curran, a Democrat who takes office January 1, said she was "excited to finally welcome the Islanders home to Nassau County, and I'd like to thank Governor Cuomo for helping make that possible".

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