A new arena plan for the state of New York has emerged through the selection of a proposal for a 17,500-seat facility designed to attract a professional sports team to Suffolk County.

The Newsday website said the arena would act as the centrepiece of the wider development of a 40-acre parcel of land between MacArthur Airport and the Ronkonkoma train station.

Suffolk County spokesman Jason Elan told Newsday that a committee overseeing a request for qualifications to develop the Ronkonkoma site selected a bid from Chicago real estate developer Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) and investment banker Ray Bartoszek to act as the property’s master developer.

The mooted sports and entertainment venue would be on a similar scale to the new 19,000-seat arena NHL ice hockey team the New York Islanders is set to develop about 40 miles west at Belmont Park.

In December, the Islanders were granted permission to build a new arena on the site of the Belmont Park horse-racing facility on Long Island, and it is hoped the venue will open in time for the 2021-22 season.

John Cameron, managing partner of Cameron Engineering, a partner in the JLL-Bartoszek proposal, has said the project would be privately financed by JLL and Bartoszek’s group. However, he added that the group is yet to receive any formal backing from a pro sports team or league for its proposal, adding that interest was expected to grow in the wake of backing from Suffolk County.

According to the proposal, the Ronkonkoma site is “an ideal location for a multipurpose arena/entertainment center,” and the proposed arena “will enhance and complement the operations and marketability of other venues in the market while not conflicting with the catchment areas of the Barclays Center or Madison Square Garden.”

Image: Crawford Architects