The Islanders have been awarded the rights to the Belmont Park site for their new arena, reports Scott Soshnick.
The decision was between the Islanders and NYCFC, who both revealed their proposal plans for the redevelopment earlier this month.
The Isles' plan consists of an 18,000-seat, year-round arena that would be host to about 150 events each year, according to Jim Baumbach and Stefanie Dazio of Newsday. Along with the arena, 435,000 square feet would be available for retail as well as a hotel and 10,000 square-foot "innovation center." This center will be built with input from residents in the area.
NYCFC planned for a slightly larger arena, with 26,000 seats as well as 400,000 square feets for retails. They also want to add a 5.2-acre community park and a 2-acre soccer facility on the grounds.
The main similiarity between both teams was the re-opening of the Long Island Rail Road's Belmont Park station stop. They both wanted to build their proposed arenas north of Hempstead Turnpike, which would be adjacent to the LIRR station.
The Islanders' developers are Sterling Project Development, which is run by the Mets' Wilpon family, and Oak View Group, who is partially funded by Madison Square Garden and specifically deals with arena development. Sterling managing partner Richard Browne said the Isles' development project won't just be a hit-and-run. They want to get this one perfect for the fans.
"We are very thoughtful developers and we don't build and then move on," Browne said. "We build where we live and we keep on with it and manage our property like we manage our homes."
Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky had previously stated the franchise was all-in on winning the bid for the redevelopment project. They didn't have any other options at the moment.
"We have no Plan B," co-owner Jon Ledecky told Baumbach, "and we haven't even thought about one."
The Islanders have until January to opt-out of their 25-year lease with their current tenant, Barclays Center.
This is a seminal moment for this franchise. It's the moment we as Islanders fans have deserved for decades. And now, it's finally here. We are getting a world class facility of our own, right here on Long Island, to call home.
I can't tell you what this means to me. As a boy who sat with his father at 25 games a year in the Coliseum while Milstein and Gluckstern were trying to cut the payroll to $5 million, while nearly trading Ziggy Palffy to the Rangers, all in the hopes of blackmailing the County into a new arena, it feels surreal. For the young man who forced himself to learn far too much about the Town of Hempstead's zoning requirements, it feels unbelievable. For the father who is pumped to take his son to Islanders games on Long Island for years to come, it feels like a miracle.
The nightmare is over. The battle is won. We'll learn more over the next few days and years as this project forges ahead, but for now, I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you, Mr. Ledecky and Mr. Malkin.