New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Islanders will be returning to Nassau Coliseum on a limited basis as the Belmont Park arena is being built.
The Islanders will play 12 home games at the Coliseum during the 2018-19 season, while splitting home ice with the Barclays Center until the 2021-2022 season when the Belmont Arena should be finished. Cuomo confirmed reports that the new arena will not be ready until then.
Cuomo's office later said, "The New York Islanders will play their first regular season game at Belmont Park during the 2021-2022 season," according to Newsday's Jim Baumbach.
Governor Cuomo announces the #Isles will 12 play home games at @NYCBLive during the 2018-19 season and will split home ice between @NYCBLive and @barclayscenter the following season. pic.twitter.com/akJYYsSh9A- New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 29, 2018
Cuomo, who says he will be present at the first home game next season, says the arena needs "some basic modifications" to host the Islanders going forward, and said the state would aid in that.
Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky also spoke at the announcement, saying he can't wait to see the shovel go into the ground at Belmont. He also provided a phone number for Islanders fans to start buying tickets to home games at the Coliseum.
"Call 844-33-ISLES. Secure your tickets right here at Nassau Coliseum," Ledecky said. He concluded his short statement with, "Let's rock the barn!."
Also speaking was Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment CEO Brett Yormark, who made it known that "this is not your old Coliseum." The 18-month, $165 million upgrade to the facility has made things better, but there is room for improvement as many have stated.
Yormark also said if the Isles want to play more games at the Coliseum in the coming years, he would be more than happy to see that come to fruition.
"If the team wants to play more than half their games here, we encourage it and welcome them back," he said.
Several Islanders were in attendance including captain John Tavares, Andrew Ladd, Cal Clutterbuck, and Johnny Boychuk as well as Islanders HC Doug Weight and GM Garth Snow.