The timeline presented by Empire State Development at an Elmont board meeting this past Monday projected construction to start once the environmental impact statement is complete.Not many things have gone right for the New York Islanders this past season, but fortunately one of the few silver linings of 2017-18 seems to remain intact. According to Jim Baumbach of Newsday, Belmont Arena is right on schedule with construction slated to begin taking place around this time next year.
Currently, the environmental review process is nearing the completion of a draft to be presented by the end of 2018, with the final statement coming by April 1 of 2019. Only when the environmental review is submited and confirmed can construction begin.
Jon Ledecky has maintained that the project will proceed as planned, and Commissioner Gary Bettman believes so as well based on what he’s been told, but the Isles aren’t and won’t be out of the woods for quite some time.
Though they have stayed out of the headlines since the initial protest, there is a coalition dedicated to preventing any arena construction from taking place. The Belmont Park Community Coalition hired attorney Norman Siegel to put a halt on development.
Don’t be surprised to find their names littered throughout headlines as this process continues.
One of the BPCC’s biggest gripes with the arena concerns a power substation that is in the plans to sit just behind Bellerose Elementary School. Developers stated they support finding a new location for the power station, but no alternative has been found thus far.
While there is (obviously) still no official word as to when it will be finished, construction is expected to take at least two years once the first shovel touches dirt.
Ledecky and Malkin’s extensive tour of the NHL last season included stops at both Little Caesars Arena and Rogers Place, homes of the Detroit Red Wings and Edmonton Oilers respectively. Those two arenas became the main influence when drawing the blueprints for Belmont, and both arenas took roughly two years to complete from start to finish.
So if everything continues as it has been, the Islanders will look to drop the puck in their new home in October of 2021.