Jim Baumbach of Newsday reported on Monday afternoon that New York State will announce the winning bid to re-develop the land near Belmont Race Track in Elmont, NY. Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be on hand for the announcement, which will come at 11 a.m. on Wednesday from the horse-racing track.
The decision has come down to the New York Islanders and NYCFC of MLS, the final two bidders for the 43 acres.
The Islanders are in desperate need of a new home and the news of a possible winning bid cannot come soon enough. For a team looking to end a short, tumultuous relationship with the Barclays Center after moving from the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, the deadline for negotiating their way out of the 25-year lease in Brooklyn ends on Jan. 1.
A deal must be struck by Jan. 30, which would allow the team to leave the basketball-first arena after the 2018-19 season.
The arena likely would not be finished by the start of the 2019-20 season as the Islanders and Oak View Group — the development company that has gone in on this bid with the Islanders — would not break ground. That would mean the Islanders might have to find a temporary home, even if it is only for a year. The re-developed Nassau Coliseum could be the best option.
Owners John Ledecky and Scott Malkin have expressed that Belmont is the only option the Islanders have for a possible local relocation.
"We have no Plan B," Ledecky said earlier this month. "And we haven't even thought about one."
Plan A includes an 18,000-seat arena that would hold 150 events annually, which would include concerts and other special events besides NHL games. For Islanders games, the arena would likely hold around 16,500, a solid upgrade from the Barclays Center, which held around 13,500 after factoring out obstructed-view seats.
A 200-to-250-room hotel and 435,000-square feet of retail space are also in the Islanders' plans.
NYCFC is looking to build a 26,000-seat stadium (not enclosed), two soccer facilities and a 5.2-acre public park to go with 400,000-square feet of retail space.