So begins the next step in finding a new home for the New York Islanders.
Jim Baumbach of Newsday reported on Thursday morning that the Islanders have submitted “a comprehensive proposal to create a world-class sports and entertainment destination” at Belmont Park.
Also known as a new arena.
It came on the heels of John Shannon of Sportsnet revealing that the Oak View Group (OVG) will submit a proposal for the site in Elmont, NY near the Belmont Race Track.
This was the last possible day for Islanders owners John Ledecky and Scott Malkin to get their proposal in as a Sept. 28, 2 p.m. deadline was given by New York State.
Per Shannon, both Ledecky and Malkin are currently in Detroit touring Little Caesars Arena, the new home of the Red Wings that was also developed by OVG.
OVG, a development group owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment CEO Tim Leiweke, recently came to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Seattle to renovate KeyArena by 2020 in a project that could cost near $600 million, per Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.
It’s worth noting that one of OVG’s investors is James Dolan, owner of the New York Knicks, Rangers and Madison Square Garden Co.
The site in Elmont is 43 acres and just seven miles down Hempstead Turnpike from the team’s former home, the Nassau Coliseum, which hosted the club from 1972-2015. But an inability to renovate the arena forced the team to move to Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
It’s been a poor match over the last two years as the arena was just not built for hockey. While it was far more modern than the outdated Coliseum, the team has had problems getting its fan base out to the games as their average attendance over the first two years at Barclays was just 13,364. That’s third-worst in the league during that span.
Barclays Center can terminate the Islanders’ lease as early as January.
The Islanders do have competition for the site, though. According to Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg.com, MLS club New York City FC is looking for a 26,000-seat stadium to get them out of Yankee Stadium, where they currently play their home matches.