Islanders New Home Arena at Belmont Park Tops Out

An ongoing development reported by CIS Leads, the Belmont Arena — now renamed the UBS Arena in Belmont Park — is to be the new home for the New York Islanders, and this Saturday reached a major milestone nearly a year since its last major update. The 19,000-seat arena, said to be the centerpiece of the Belmont Park Redevelopment Project, topped out — or, “topped off,” as Gov. Cuomo and others present chose to call it. 

With a ceremonial placing of the highest beam by Empire State Development Board chair Steven M. Cohen and Acting Commissioner Eric Gertler joined NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky, the UBS Arena has reached its full height, and with more to go. 

The Main Details on UBS Arena and the Belmont Park Redevelopment Project, as They Stand Today

In the year since CIS Leads reported on the start of the then-named Belmont Arena Project, far more details have come to light regarding the development and its amenities. In fact, the most detail that could be reported in September of 2019 was its capacity, as well as the promise for retail and office spaces in the surrounding park. Updated information includes:

  • A large, luxurious entertainment hub. Slated at 17,000 capacity for NHL games and 19,000 for concerts, UBS Arena is built for hockey and music. The site boasts that the finished structure will be a seamless merging of “boutique hospitality” and “live entertainment” that includes VIP suites and clubs, eight bars with a view of the ice and stage, and two outdoor terraces, among other features. 
  • About 350,000 square feet of retail and food. Over the entire complex, visitors will find a swathe of options, from experiential retail and food options to a larger retail village. 
  • A 210,000 square foot hotel, details to be disclosed later. Likely part of a later phase of the full redevelopment project, little is known about the hotels’ amenities or the overall size, but many praise this as the piece that will complete the complex as the sports and entertainment hub of the area. 
  • The first new, full-time LIRR train station in nearly half a century. One of the latest revelations is that the Long Island Rail Road would be constructing a new connection, the Elmont stop, the first in almost fifty years, which will drive more shoppers and sports and music fans to the area without the need to arrange accommodations. 

As Phase I continues, locals and job seekers can look to continuing, steady progress and more details as they emerge. 

What Remains to Be Done Before the UBS Arena Is Completed?

Developers are expecting to have the roof complete by December. UBS Arena is looking to open its doors in the Fall of 2021, just in time for the 2021-2022 NHL Season, and sources suggest that at least 60 concerts have already been booked for the venue. Despite two months of delay at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in New York, developers are confident that they will finish on time. 

The project itself has already created over 10,000 construction jobs, and since the completion of the arena is only the first phase of several, that promises further work to come for perhaps several years, and that’s to say nothing of the thousands of local jobs that Belmont Park is predicted to bring once the final bricks are laid. 

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