New York Islanders to leave Brooklyn, return to suburbs

The Fields at Belmont. NYCFC’s proposed plan for the land which included their own soccer specific stadium

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.

According to sources, the New York Islanders have received news on Tuesday that its bid to build a new arena at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York has been accepted. The racetrack is home to the third leg of horse racing's Triple Crown.

But the bidding process has been won by the National Hockey League's New York Islanders, who are now set to move out of Brooklyn and back closer to their previous home. For Islanders games, the arena would likely hold around 16,500, a solid upgrade from the Barclays Center, which held around 13,500 after factoring out obstructed-view seats.




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 Rock "n" Roll Hall-of-Famer did not speak at the event, but was lobbied by several speakers to consider playing the first concert at the new arena. Another bid for the site which was not accepted was put in by the New York Football Club.

The Islanders played at the Nassau Coliseum from its inception in 1972 until 2015, winning the Stanley Cup every year from 1980 to 1983. Team officials outlined their development plans at a public meeting earlier this month. That's about 4,000 less than the team's final season at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. "This site will be the home of economic development". It now has no major sports teams playing there regularly and fills its calendar with concerts and other events. The new arena will be situated in one of the track's parking lots, not far from a Long Island Rail Road station. A spokeswoman for Empire State Development, the state agency that controls the site, declined to comment.

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