Islanders Officially Break Ground On New Arena At Belmont Park

Alex Greenberg
September 23, 2019 - 3:21 pm

New York State Press Office/New York Islanders


The New York Islanders’ new arena at Belmont Park is one step closer to being a reality.

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It’s not expected to open until 2021, but when it does the new development will boast the 19,000-seat arena, a new hotel and 350,000 feet of new retail space.

On Monday, officials and dignitaries gathered in Nassau County for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the project, on which construction has already begun.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo was there in attendance, as was NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and they had quite a bit of help with the designated groundbreaking shovels. 

The Islanders also released some updated renderings of what everything is supposed to look like when it has been completed. 

Governor Cuomo spoke to his delight at having the Islanders back permanently on Long Island.

“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," Governor 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.”

Related: New Renderings Of Islanders Belmont Arena

The move is being billed as a return to Long Island for the Islanders, who have spent the last couple years playing some of their games at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and some at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, which is their traditional home. The Islanders scrapped their initial move to Barclays Center in 2015 after it proved to be unpopular with fans and not commercially successful.

That being said, there is still notable opposition to this new stadium project. Elmont civic leaders have filed a lawsuit, with the State Supreme Court in Nassau County, hoping to stop the construction. The lawsuit claims there are issues with the state’s environmental evaluation of the project and that things like traffic and local resident safety haven’t been addressed properly.

Governor Cuomo also announced that the Islanders had reached an agreement to play 28 regular season games at the Coliseum this year, which is seven more than were originally planned.

The Islanders will begin their new season on October 4 when they welcome the Capitals to the Coliseum.