The New York Arena Partners broke ground Wednesday for the New York Islanders Arena at Belmont Park, a day many Islanders fans thought would never come.
Heavy equipment tore up the tarmac in the parking lot where the arena will be built and trees were felled in part of Belmont’s former backyard, which now belongs to the Isles.
Belmont was abuzz with workers. Offices are setup both inside the grandstand and outside in trailers.
This is all happening one day after the hockey team got the final approval from the Franchise Oversight Board.
The 19,000-seat arena is scheduled to open in October 2021 and NYAP will go 24/7/365 to complete the project on time.
A 250-room hotel, 350,000 square feet of retail space, and a food, beverage and entertainment concourse will follow.
The New York Racing Association also has plans to renovate Belmont Park, which will take place in several stages to accommodate racing there and in conjunction with the Islanders project.
NYRA said previously that it would reveal its plans for Belmont after the Islanders deal was final. That time has come.
Calls to both NYRA and the Isles were not returned. Stay tuned for more details.
Jack Sterne, Press Secretary, Downstate for Empire State Development read this article and issued to following statement to clarify exactly what is happening at Belmont Park.
Jack Sterne, ESD: “As with any major construction project, our development partners need to prepare the Belmont site before construction can start – that’s what you are seeing today. Permits for full construction will not be issued until a lease is signed.”
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