Islanders unveil outdoor ice hockey rinks near UBS Arena

Featured image credit: New York Islanders

The New York Islanders NHL team has partnered with Northwell, the New York Racing Association and USA Hockey to launch The Park at UBS Arena, a season-long outdoor experience that will introduce two public pond hockey rinks for locals.

UBS Arena opened in 2021 and forms part of the wider Belmont Park site. The Islanders said The Park at UBS Arena will look to take advantage of the arena’s setting and create “something special” for fans.

The first rink will be named the Northwell Pond and will boast a sheet of natural ice. It will host a series of 4v4 pond hockey tournaments. The second rink, named the Isles Pond, will host Learn to Skate, Learn to Play, and Try Hockey for Free programmes.

Both ponds will also offer 90-minute public skate tickets. General admission tickets will start at $20 (£16/€19), with discounts of 25% available for first responders and military personnel. Islanders season ticket-holders will also receive a 25% discount.

Dan Craig, who was the NHL’s facilities operations manager for 23 years and was in charge of the ice for more than 30 outdoor games, is overseeing the ponds for the Islanders. The Isles Pond will be made using synthetic technology created by Global Synthetic Ice, ensuring season-long accessibility.

The Park at UBS Arena will also feature an outdoor beer garden, a VIP igloo garden, fan-centric activations such as carnival games, a pop-up team store, and food trucks.

Nick Pizzutello, executive vice-president of the Islanders, said: “The Islanders are proud to be part of this season’s outdoor Stadium Series game and look forward to expanding on this great platform by bringing pond hockey to our backyard. We are excited to give all Islanders fans the opportunity to bring our deep-rooted pre-game traditions to UBS Arena.”

NYRA president and chief executive David O’Rourke added: “Community events and activities will play a central role at the new Belmont Park. This partnership between NYRA and the New York Islanders will advance that mission by providing our neighbours with easy and affordable access to ice skating and hockey in the Belmont Park backyard. We’re excited to help grow this new initiative and look forward to welcoming kids and families to The Park later this month.”