New York-based healthcare provider Northwell Health has agreed a deal to sponsor UBS Arena, the under-construction new home of the New York Islanders NHL ice hockey franchise.

The 10-year founding sponsorship deal is an extension of Northwell’s decades-long association with the Islanders as the team’s official healthcare sponsor and title sponsor of its East Meadow practice facility.

Under the agreement, Northwell will work with UBS Arena and the Islanders to co-develop community-based wellness programming, which will cover health, nutrition and physical activity.

The arena will feature a mix of industry-leading sanitisation technologies paired with operational, staffing, contactless technology and cleaning solutions to ensure the health and safety of guests and staff amid COVID-19. UBS Arena is also being developed to achieve WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management from the International WELL Being Institute (IWBI).

Michael Dowling, president and chief executive of Northwell, said: “We are proud to align ourselves with New York’s newest premier sports and entertainment venue. New York, and especially Long Island, is home to thousands of our patients as well as our employees. With 25,000 employees living near UBS Arena alone, this partnership allows us to reinforce our commitment to serving the community and we look forward to developing future health and wellness programming with UBS Arena and the New York Islanders.”

Tim Leiweke, chief executive of Oak View Group and leader of the arena project, added: “UBS Arena will be ready to welcome fans back to arenas, ensuring an unrivalled, distinctive live entertainment experience that is reflective of our commitment to unmatched service, safety and sanitisation.

“Planned top-of-the-line sanitisation efforts from medical grade HEPA filtration, to UV light systems, and disinfecting solutions that have proven safe and effective in large-scale public spaces will ensure future guests’ peace of mind.”

UBS Arena is scheduled to open in time for the 2021-22 NHL season. Swiss financial services company UBS acquired naming rights to the 19,000-seat venue back in July in a deal worth a reported $275m (£213m/€234m).

The arena is being built on the site of the Belmont Park horse-racing venue, with the overall project and surrounding redevelopment costing $1.5bn. The project is expected to generate $25bn in economic activity, including infrastructure improvements, 10,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs.

Venue safety and hygiene is becoming an increasingly important issue for sports stadiums and arenas. Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA basketball team, recently achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation, becoming the first sports facility in Ohio to reach the gold standard of prepared facilities.

Image: UBS