The #Isles are officially coming back to Long Island. Check out artist renderings of the new arena at Belmont Park. ???
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 20, 2017
The New York Islanders won the bid to re-develop Belmont Park on Tuesday and celebrated with an official press conference on Wednesday.
Now that the struggle of getting a new building is finally out of the way, Isles fans can start counting down the days until Belmont opens. Along with that countdown, they can print out and pin up the renderings that were released by Newsday on Wednesday.
At the press conference was one of the Islanders owners, John Ledecky, as well as Governor Andrew Cuomo. Ledecky engaged the crowd by pointing and thanking the fans for attending.
“To the fans, this day is for you,” Ledecky said. per the New York Daily News‘ Leonard Greene. “Today is a huge day for this franchise and you deserve it more than anyone else.”
Ledecky was accompanied by captain John Tavares and forward Cal Clutterbuck. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was on the opposite side showing full support of Belmont as he did in a radio interview with Mike Francesa.
Interestingly enough, when the idea of playing some games at Nassau Coliseum for a temporary home came up, Bettman did not immediately shoot it down. This does not mean the Isles will play their games in Nassau until Belmont is built. Perhaps, they will make their way to the original home a couple times a year during Belmont’s development.
Included in Belmont’s renderings are views from all around the complex. One thing to note is that the Islanders are looking to keep the community engaged as much as they can. In doing so, they are including 435,000 square feet of retail space with an accessible LIRR train station. Across the way is a 200-to-250 room hotel where opposing players and travelers can stay, much like the set up with the Marriott at Nassau Coliseum. There will also be an “innovation center” which the Islanders will seek community feedback for what goes there.
Walking into Belmont is exactly what Islanders fans want to see. No, not black and white everywhere, but banners with beautiful royal blue popping next to orange. It is the perfect mix of Nassau Coliseum with Barclays Center where keeping the tradition is more than just a saying while keeping up with the times as well.
Fans are surrounded by banners of Islanders logos past in the main corridor. The “NY” logo sits across from the “Islanders” wordmark that was on the helmets of the royal blue alternate jersey in 2010. What seems to be clear is that there is no black Islanders signage anywhere. This can signify that the Islanders are embracing their own identity again and not one thrown at them from Barclays Center.
Included in the renderings inside is the look of how Belmont would look for a concert. It’s important to note that other acts like concerts, wrestling or even other on-ice events will bring in revenue. As long as Belmont is active, the arena will thrive due to its location right near the highway.
Finally, the rink. First things first, the sightlines seem great with no awkward angles. It appears that once again, the seats are close to the rink. This could create an intimidating atmosphere when the building gets loud. Similar to that of, you guessed it, the Nassau Coliseum.
At first glance, it seems that there will be special suites across from the benches where there will be only a few rows of seats. This could be the Belmont equivalent to the Barclays Center Honda Club, located behind the Islanders’ goal. The ticket to the Honda Club includes all you can eat food and drink. There will also be a mid-level for suites, similar to the set up in Barclays Center.
The next step in the whole process is to set up the opt-out clause with Barclays Center. This is an obvious action at this point, but official paperwork still needs to be done. It will also show how the Islanders and Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment will re-negotiate a temporary contract. Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment also owns the Nassau Coliseum, now under the name NYCB Live. Perhaps this would make it easier for them to return to the Uniondale a couple times per season.
In short, Belmont is the Islanders new home and through these pictures, it is quickly looking like it too. What’s important is the constant blue and orange in and around the building. If someone is walking around the complex in the dining village, they will more than likely see a sign for the Islanders. If someone is shopping in retail, perhaps there will be Isles merchandise in the stores as well. People will not be confused when it comes to who this building belongs to. It is important to build the local reputation up and win over any new fans to the game. Although this vision won’t happen overnight, one thing is for sure, the Islanders are finally home.