New York Islanders' Belmont Park arena bid approved, per report

New York Islanders' Belmont Park arena bid approved, per report

There could soon be more certainty surrounding the New York Islanders' arena pursuit, as Newsday reports that a decision on the Belmont Park site will be announced Wednesday.

For the Islanders, a new arena at Belmont Park would replace the team's current home, Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

The Fields at Belmont.

A 200-to-250-room hotel and 435,000-square feet of retail space are also in the Islanders' plans. A spokeswoman for Empire State Development, the state agency that controls the site, declined to comment.

Joining the Islanders in the proposal is Oak View Group, whose investors include James Dolan's Madison Square Garden Co., which owns its namesake arena as well as the Knicks and Rangers, and Sterling Equities, which owns baseball's New York Mets.

John and Nizzette Conlon and their two sons, all Islanders fans from St. James, N.Y., walked to their seats in Section 3 at the southwest end of Barclays Center and took one flabbergasted look. The purchase price - much more than the $325 million value of the team estimated by Forbes - was based in part on the team having a home in New York City.

NYCFC's bid featured "a 26,000-seat open-air stadium in addition to 400,000 square-feet of space for retail, a 5.2-acre community park and a 2-acre soccer facility".

Both the Islanders and NYCFC submitted proposals to Empire State Development before a September 25 deadline and held a public hearing about their proposals on December 10. For a team looking to end a short, tumultuous relationship with the Barclays Center after moving from the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, the deadline for negotiating their way out of the 25-year lease in Brooklyn ends on January 1.

Representatives of both plans emphasized they hope the public would use mass transit to attend games and other events held at their venues.

But, the new arena at Belmont is coming. The franchise was awarded rights to develop a new arena at Belmont Park on Tuesday, meaning the Isles will be returning to Nassau County.

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