NHL's Islanders said to win right to build arena at Belmont site

Ryan Pulock of the New York Islanders celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings on Dec. 19 2017GETTY IMAGES

A news conference is scheduled for Wednesday morning at the racetrack in which Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is expected to be on hand.

Five years after the announcement of a 25-year lease at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, the New York Islanders are already returning home-well, not quite home, but at least back out of New York City and onto the land mass* where they began.

The team's bid was selected over a competing one from the New York City Football Club, which was hoping to build its own stadium there.

The Islanders partners in the development include Sterling Project Development, a real estate firm run by the Mets' Wilpon family, and Oak View Group, an arena development company partially funded by Madison Square Garden. They plan on building an 18,000-seat arena that will have year-round use and will host 150 events annually. N.Y.C.F.C. have searched across the NY metropolitan area for a potential stadium site. The Islanders moved out of their previous home, the Nassau County Veterans Coliseum, in 2015, and now play in Brooklyn's Barclay's Center. In addition, it would have 435,000-square feet of space for retail, a hotel with 200 to 250 rooms and a 10,000-square foot "innovation center".

The Islanders have been seeking an alternative to the Barclays Center, which became the team's home in the 2015-16 season. It is likely to require two to three years to finish a new arena, so the Islanders may need to find a temporary home.

It's a day that hockey fans in NY have been waiting a long time for, partially because it has major implications for the team's chances of re-signing superstar center John Tavares. The winning Belmont bid gives the Islanders a new home and some much-needed clarity about their future - a necessity in their contract negotiations with superstar John Tavares, who will be a free agent next summer. The team is partnering with Sterling Project Development - run by the Wilpon family, which owns the New York Mets - and Oak View Group, which is also spearheading the redevelopment of KeyArena in Seattle for potential National Hockey League expansion.



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