NHL ice hockey team the New York Islanders has confirmed that it has submitted a bid to build a new arena at the Belmont Park horse-racing facility in Elmont, Long Island.
The franchise is set to face competition for the site from Major League Soccer team New York City FC. The arena would be built on land adjacent to Belmont Park, with the track to remain intact during any development process.
The Islanders, who currently play their home games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, said in a statement reported by ESPN.com: “New York Arena Partners, LLC has submitted a comprehensive proposal to create a world-class sports and entertainment destination at Belmont Park, which we look forward to discussing with the Empire State Development Corporation.”
ESPN noted that New York Arena Partners includes the owners of Major League Baseball team the New York Mets.
The Islanders moved to the Barclays Center in 2015 but the team is believed to favour a move back to Long Island, where it spent more than 30 years playing at the Nassau Coliseum before relocating to Brooklyn.
Earlier this week reports emerged that NYCFC had submitted a bid for the Belmont Park site. The MLS team has played its home games at Yankee Stadium, home of MLB team the New York Yankees, since launching in 2015. The club has seen recent attempts to acquire its own soccer-specific stadium fall by the wayside.
It is believed that both the Islanders and NYCFC submitted arena plans before yesterday’s (Thursday’s) deadline.
The Newsday website reported that Blumenfield Development Group has also submitted a proposal, although details surrounding this bid are unclear.
Newsday’s report added that Belmont Park is not NYCFC’s preferred location for an arena, with the team said to have other options in the Bronx and Flushing Meadows.
IMAGE: Ché Lydia Xyang