Islanders' arena bid picked for Belmont Park

Jack Fenty, of Garden City talks with

According to Newsday's Jim Baumbach, who has been covering the developments at Belmont since the story broke, the New York Islanders will be granted rights to build their stadium at Belmont Race Track by the New York State EDS and NYCFC's proposal will be rejected. It will include a 18,000-seat, year-round arena along with 435,000 square feet for retail, a hotel and what's being called an "innovation center". In July, the agency announced another request for proposal process for the site, saying a successful bidder will have to show its plans will "maximize" economic benefits to the state, create "premier destinations" for entertainment, retail and sports "with uses that are complementary to the existing Belmont Park racetrack". Islanders owner Jonathan Ledecky didn't immediately return a text message seeking comment. The Islanders have the league's worst attendance, averaging about 11,642 a game this season.

It's a day that hockey fans in NY have been waiting a long time for, partially because it has major implications for the team's chances of re-signing superstar center John Tavares.

The arena likely would not be finished by the start of the 2019-20 season as the Islanders and Oak View Group - the development company that has gone in on this bid with the Islanders - would not break ground.

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Scott Malkin and Ledecky paid $485 million for the Islanders in 2014 but didn't take control of the franchise until 2016.

The team is playing great but more importantly the Isles no longer have to play at Barclays Center. The Islanders moved out of their previous home, the Nassau County Veterans Coliseum, in 2015, and now play in Brooklyn's Barclay's Center.

Barclays Center officials months ago made a proposal for the Islanders to utilize Nassau Coliseum as a temporary venue until the new arena is ready, according to a person with knowledge of the talks. 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.

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