New York State’s Franchise Oversight Board Thursday unanimously voted for all measures necessary for the Islanders Arena at Belmont Park, the final approvals essential for the Belmont Land Redevelopment Project to proceed.
New York Arena Partners will break ground Thursday, and a formal ceremony will occur after Labor Day.
The FOB spent a great amount of time addressing all efforts made by the Empire State Development Corporation regarding items addressed in the supplemental investigation to the Final Environmental Impact Statement, as did the ESD upon its approval, to preempt any favorable decisions of anticipated lawsuits from local opponent groups, which advertised in advance of the anticipated approvals.
The project is a few months behind schedule but seldom do $1.3 billion deals with public authorities go in a straight line. Belmont Park is 7.6 miles due west of the Coliseum straight down Hempstead Turnpike, but the hockey team got there by way of Brooklyn.
New York Racing Association board member Michael Dubb first proposed the idea to the Islanders’ former majority owner Charles Wang but would not put up $1+ billion to do the deal and the team wound up at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The move was a poor decision for the team and its fans and the never-consummated marriage with Barclays was annulled. It was a financial choice and the best interests of the team and its fan base were secondary.
Islanders’ games for the next two seasons will be split between the Isles original home, The Nassau County Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and Barclays Center.
Islanders’ games for the 2021-2022 season will be played at a state-of-the-art arena at Belmont Park. It will mark the first time since the team’s inception (1972-73) that it will play in a first class facility.
The arena is the first priority of NYAP. The ancillary components of the project will come later.
NYAP is committed to make the hockey deadline by working 24/7/365, including union overtime.
The project includes a 19,000-seat arena, a 250-room hotel, a 350,000 square foot retail village, a food, beverage and entertainment concourse, and more. Updates on Thursday.
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