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National Hockey League rumors: Islanders to find out Belmont arena fate Wednesday

21 December, 2017, 01:06 | Author: Christina Hansen
  • National Hockey League rumors: Islanders to find out Belmont arena fate Wednesday

The New York Islanders bid to build a new arena at Belmont Park will be selected by the state of New York, Newsday's Jim Baumbach reports.

The Islanders moved from their long-time home at the Nassau County Coliseum into the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in 2015, but the arena was not built for ice hockey and the team has not drawn well being so near the Madison Square Garden home of the rival New York Rangers.

"We're just beyond happy", said Claire Harding, president of the Islanders booster club following an announcement at the track that plays host to horse racing's Triple Crown each June.

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"For us as players and our fan base to have somewhere you know it's written in stone that we're going to have a home built for the Islanders on Long Island is pretty special", Tavares said.

The National Hockey League team beat out a bid from the New York City FC soccer team, which envisioned building a stadium on the site. Coming back to Long Island would give fans what they want even if that means dealing with some traffic.

The Islanders played at Nassau Coliseum from its inception in 1972 until 2015, winning four consecutive Stanley Cup titles from 1980-83. Team officials outlined their development plans at a public meeting earlier this month. "This site will be the home of economic development".

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Hempstead Town Supervisor-elect Laura Gillen said she would have preferred to see the Islanders return to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, but she is glad the state is paving the way for the team to at least relocate to Nassau County.

The LIRR station near Belmont is currently only open on event days, but now is expected to be open year-round.

The decision has come down to the New York Islanders and NYCFC of MLS, the final two bidders for the 43 acres.

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The state-run Empire State Development Corp. announced in July a request for proposals to develop vacant and underutilized parking lots at the site of the racetrack.

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