New York Islanders break ground on new Belmont arena

25 September 2019 (Last Updated September 25th, 2019 10:25)

New York Islanders have broken ground on the 19,000-seat arena, which is the centrepiece of the $1.3bn Belmont Park Redevelopment in the US.

New York Islanders break ground on new Belmont arena
The Belmont redevelopment project will transform 43 acres of underused parking space at Belmont Park into a sports and hospitality destination. Credit: The New York Islanders.

New York Islanders have broken ground on the 19,000-seat arena, which is the centrepiece of the $1.3bn Belmont Park Redevelopment in the US.

To be used for the New York Islanders hockey matches and other events, the arena is expected to be in use for the 2021-2022 hockey season.

The Belmont redevelopment project was announced in December 2017 and will transform 43 acres of underused parking lots at Belmont Park into a sports and hospitality destination.

In addition to the arena, the destination will feature a 250-room hotel, a retail village, and office and community space.

New York Belmont Partners is developing the project and has also agreed to enhance two local parks in the surrounding community.

The developers will also help fund a new full-time Long Island Rail Road station in Elmont via a public-private partnership.

The new station will be the first new full-time LIRR stop in 50 years and allow riders to access to Belmont Park from both the east and west. It will also offer a new commuting option for Long Islanders.

Construction of the arena, hotel and retail village is expected to create 10,000 jobs and generate $2.7bn in economic activity in the next two years.

By 2024, the project is estimated to sustain 3,200 new full-time jobs and produce $858m in annual economic activity.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said: “The construction of the new arena at Belmont Park will redevelop the home of The Islanders, support more games and events, and increase visitors to the region.

“This significant project will establish Belmont Park as a sports destination and will create thousands of jobs and boost economic activity on Long Island.”

Empire State Development and New York Belmont Partners, and its affiliate, New York Arena Partners have led the Belmont redevelopment project for two years through a public review process.