HorseRaceInsider’s Mark Berner reported exclusively in his “Inside New York” column of February 7 that the grounds adjacent to the racetrack would be used to build a new arena hard by the Cross Island Parkway on the Queens/Nassau County line.
Islanders' owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin, along with NY Knicks-Rangers owner James Dolan and NY Mets owner Fred Wilpon will also provide funding to build the new arena.
New York City-based hockey fans will also be able to access the new facility via an existing Long Island Railroad station.
The Wilpons will be represented through their firm, Sterling Project Development. Dolan and Madison Square Garden are investors in Oak View Group, a joint venture of sports executives Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff, who also manage numerous recording artists. Plans for the arena already have been drawn up.
The Twitter world was abuzz on Friday with the news, as were metropolitan area television newscasts and daily New York newspapers.
Long Island's cable news channel, News 12, also aired a report with an interview from Newsday's Arthur Staple.
“Belmont Park always seemed to be the most logical choice,” said Staple. “If the Islanders are going to leave Barclays Center, this is the one [area] that makes the most sense. They can come back to Long Island.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo is also on board with the plan as New York State owns the property on which New York’s racetrack’s rest. Cuomo has committed money for transportation infrastructure.
The Long Island Rail Road spur line terminates at Belmont Park. Speculation is that the rails could be extended or a covered moving walkway could be constructed to connect the current train platform with the arena.
Current plans for the edifice call for the building to be constructed in the parking lot south of Hempstead Turnpike (marked B in the following picture).
ELMONT, NY, February 25, 2017