Islanders’ plan for potential Belmont Park arena unveiled at hearing

Pedestrians pass the Barclays Center before an NHL game. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

The New York Islanders revealed what a potential new arena at Belmont Park would look like, unveiling their plans for the redevelopment at a public presentation on Sunday.

Specifically, the Islanders are looking to create more than just an 18,000-seat arena — the revamped site would also include a hotel, a retail village and an entertainment plaza, according to the New York Post.

A representative from Populous, the design firm in charge of the Islanders’ new proposal, stressed the fact that the potential new arena would correct many of the issues that drove a wedge between the public and the Islanders’ current home in Brooklyn.

“A couple of elements that’ll make this a great, special hockey venue will be the enhanced sightlines which are dedicated around an NHL ice sheet,” the representative said, according to a video of the presentation posted by Newsday’s Jim Baumbach. “And it will also be equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, like ice-sheet systems.”

The Islanders remain at Barclays Center for now — their third season there — but remain focused on getting a new rink built at Belmont Racetrack in Nassau County, seemingly a necessity given the numerous issues that have come up during their time in Brooklyn.

But the Islanders have some stiff competition for the Belmont Park site.

Also presenting a plan to the public on Sunday was MLS’ New York City FC, who proposed a 26,000-seat stadium alongside retail space, a community park, and a soccer facility.

An audience member asked the representatives if the Islanders and New York City FC could build a joint facility, according to Newsday, but both sides reportedly said that would not be feasible.

The Islanders’ lease with Barclays Center carries a January deadline, meaning the club can choose to move on from Brooklyn as early as 2018-19.

Both the NHL club and the rival MLS team have submitted their plans to Empire State Development Corp., which will choose which organization gets to move forward with its proposal.


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