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NHL's Islanders said to win right to build arena at Belmont site

21 December 2017

The Islanders proposal beat out another bid by New York City FC, which is a Major League Soccer team that is partially owned by the New York Yankees.

Five years after the announcement of a 25-year lease at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, the New York Islanders are already returning home-well, not quite home, but at least back out of New York City and onto the land mass* where they began.

The bid was put in by the New York Arena Partners, which includes the owners of the New York Mets and others.

The Democratic governor said it was sad when the team left the Nassau Coliseum and went to Brooklyn's Barclays Center "because they were so much part of the identity and the character and the culture of Long Island". The Belmont Park site has been believed to offer a few advantages for the Islanders, including a more accessible location to the team's Long Island fan base and enough room for surrounding development. The Rock "n" Roll Hall-of-Famer did not speak at the event, but was lobbied by several speakers to consider playing the first concert at the new arena. Coming back to Long Island would give fans what they want even if that means dealing with some traffic. An effort to get a new arena built, to replace Nassau Coliseum, proved fruitless and fostered a move to a modern arena that had dates to fill.

"We have no Plan B", Ledecky said earlier this month.

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Nassau County Executive-elect Laura Curran, a Democrat who takes office January 1, said she was "excited to finally welcome the Islanders home to Nassau County, and I'd like to thank Governor Cuomo for helping make that possible".

"It is a win for the community, big economic development initiative". It now has no major sports teams playing there regularly and fills its calendar with concerts and other events.

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

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

NHL's Islanders said to win right to build arena at Belmont site