The New York Islanders are one step closer to getting a new home. On Monday, team members, executives and supporters helped break ground at the new arena at in front of a crowd of people in Islanders gear.
It’s go time! 👷🏗— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 23, 2019
We all know there’s no place like home. Stake your claim to a piece of #Isles history and our forever home at Belmont Park by joining our Season Ticket Member family today. https://t.co/nQ6pbRnaaR pic.twitter.com/LfEiaTknTn
The Islanders moved to Brooklyn four years ago, but will have a brand new space on Long Island to call their own in time for the 2021-2022 season. Work is well under way at the spot, but Monday marked the ceremonial groundbreaking for the $1.3 billion privately funded arena.
Belmont Park will house more than just a hockey rink. A retail village and a new Long Island Rail Road station for travel convenience are also being built. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called the project a game-changer.
"A new transportation terminal, a great economic development vehicle and a great new sports stadium. Three things all together in one project," he said. "The technical term for that is that is a hat trick, my friends. Congratulations."
The arena will seat 19,000 people and the shops, restaurants and hotels will be built on 43 acres of state-owned land. Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky had high praise for the future of the project.
"This is truly going to be a world class destination," he said. "It is going to be a state-of-the-art arena in every single respect."
At the event, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the Islanders will play seven more regular games this season at Nassau Coliseum than originally expected, bringing the number to 28.