Islanders reportedly awarded right to build new arena at Belmont Park

Dec 14 2017 Columbus OH USA New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey celebrates a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 14 2017 Columbus OH USA New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey celebrates a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Both Barclays Center and the Islanders have opt-out clauses in their contract, although speculation is that the Islanders would play there until a new building is ready.

This team and fan base has endured so much over the last 30 years, the Don Maloney and Mike Milbury years, to the countless owners serving or have served prison time.

The team submitted a bid to build a new arena at Belmont Park, and according to Newsday it has been selected as the winning bid.

New York City FC, which now plays at Yankee Stadium, was also interested in the site, Bloomberg Sports reported Tuesday. The move to the Brooklyn arena was greeted with displeasure by fans, who always considered the team to be a Long Island staple. The Islanders played at the Nassau Coliseum from 1972 until 2015, and fans never fully embraced their new home at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. Saying the Islanders should move to Nassau Coliseum, while the Belmont arena is being built.

"This will be more than an arena", Ledecky said.

Officials stopping short of confirming it but said it will create jobs and contribute to economic development while benefiting all taxpayers. He said the project will be completely financed privately.

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Hempstead Town Supervisor-elect Laura Gillen said she would have preferred to see the Islanders return to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, but she is glad the state is paving the way for the team to at least relocate to Nassau County.

The coliseum, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) east of Belmont, reopened previous year following a $165 million renovation.

The LIRR station near Belmont is currently only open on event days, but now is expected to be open year-round.

The MLS franchise, who now host matches at Yankee Stadium, had hoped to build their own stadium in Elmont on Long Island.

The state-run Empire State Development Corp. announced in July a request for proposals to develop vacant and underutilized parking lots at the site of the racetrack. The state also solicited bids to develop the land in 2012 but wound up scrapping all proposals a year ago.

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