New 19,000-Seat UBS Arena Accomplishes Major Milestone of Overall $1.3 Billion Belmont Park Redevelopment Project
New LIRR Elmont-UBS Arena Station Completed
Total Project Expected to Create 10,000 Jobs, Generate $2.7 Billion in Economic Activity
Photos of the New Arena Available Here
Aerial Video of New Arena Available Here
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the opening of UBS Arena, which will bring the New York Islanders back home to Long Island. The new arena marks a major milestone in the overall $1.3 billion Belmont Park Redevelopment Project, which is transforming 43 acres of underutilized parking lots into a premier sports and hospitality destination. In addition to being the new home for the New York Islanders hockey team, the UBS Arena will feature concerts, live entertainment and other events throughout the year. Future phases of the Belmont Park Redevelopment Project will include a 350,000 square-foot destination entertainment and retail complex, a 250-key hotel and a community center. In addition, two rehabilitated local parks will reopen to the public in the coming months. Construction of all the project components is expected to create 10,000 jobs and generate $2.7 billion in economic activity for Nassau County.
"Today is a monumental day for New York and the Islanders as we cut the ribbon on the world-class new UBS Arena," Governor Hochul said. "This is the first step in the newly redeveloped Belmont Park, which will serve as an internationally recognized destination for sports, entertainment, retail and hospitality. As New York continues to recover from the COVID pandemic, Belmont Park will be instrumental in strengthening the regional economy and boosting tourism for generations to come."
Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin said, "The opening of the new UBS Arena is not only great for the Islanders, the new renovations to Belmont Park will be a wonderful addition to the Nassau County community. This new project will bring entertainment and economic activity to the area and make it an international hub for everything from sports to hospitality, I cannot wait to see the new arena in action."
Announced in December 2017, the Belmont Park Redevelopment Project includes significant community and public realm benefits, including a new Long Island Rail Road station in Elmont - the first new full-time LIRR stop in nearly 50 years. By 2024, the project is expected to sustain 3,200 new full-time jobs, produce $858 million in annual economic activity, and generate tens of millions of dollars in new annual tax revenue for the regional economy.
New LIRR Elmont Station
The Long Island Rail Road Elmont Station, the first new LIRR station in almost 50 years, will open for service on Saturday, Nov. 20 - coinciding with the New York Islanders' first home game at UBS Arena. The Elmont—UBS Arena Station will initially offer eastbound service to Elmont, serving the UBS Arena and Belmont Park, which retains its own dedicated part-time station.
Service at the station will increase next summer when the westbound platform opens. At that time, the station will begin full-time year-round service to the local community and will begin to provide westbound service to and from events at UBS Arena and Belmont Park. Long Islanders who live east of Belmont on the Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson and Ronkonkoma Branches will have a one-seat ride straight to events for the first time. This will reduce travel times and is expected to increase the number of event attendees who use public transportation, helping alleviate traffic congestion on Long Island.
When both platforms are complete, the new station will feature two 12-car-long high-level platforms with canopies, elevators that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a pedestrian overpass, USB charging stations, Help Points, security cameras, digital signs with train arrival information, Wi-Fi and a state-of-the-art snow melting system embedded in the concrete of the platforms to ensure they remain free of snow and ice during winter storms.
Rehabilitated Elmont Road Park and Hendrickson Avenue Park
As part of the overall project, New York Arena Partners is renovating Elmont Road Park and providing improvements to Hendrickson Avenue Park. The plan for Elmont Road Park was developed with the local community based on ideas residents offered at a facilitated planning workshop in April 2019. Upon completion, Elmont Road Park will have a new multi-use sports field, renovated basketball and handball courts, a perimeter walking path, a new adult fitness area, new playgrounds and water play area, renovated seating area, improved lighting and security measures, and ADA access. Improvements at Hendrickson Avenue Park include improved lighting.
This is the first step in the newly redeveloped Belmont Park, which will serve as an internationally recognized destination for sports, entertainment, retail and hospitality. As New York continues to recover from the COVID pandemic, Belmont Park will be instrumental in strengthening the regional economy and boosting tourism for generations to come.
Empire State Development Chair Nominee Kevin Law said, "With New York State reopening its doors, the opening of the new UBS Arena and Elmont Long Island Rail Road station sends a clear message that Long Island is open for business. As the new home of the New York Islanders and venue for live entertainment events, the UBS Arena will create a significant boost to tourism and economic activity for the region. Tourism and hospitality are important to the State's economy and the redevelopment of Belmont Park will transform the area into a premier entertainment destination."
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Hope Knight said, "After years of open, collaborative planning with community leaders and stakeholders, we have cut the ribbon on the new UBS Arena - a world-class sports and entertainment destination that will create lasting memories for hockey fans and New Yorkers. The future is bright for Long Island with a redeveloped Belmont Park bringing new jobs and tax revenues that will help spur the region's economic growth.
New York Islanders Co-Owner Jon Ledecky said, "It is our privilege to celebrate Islanders fans and New Yorkers throughout the region as this new landmark for New York opens today. Our thanks to Governor Hochul, the elected officials, and those in our community who have worked so hard to make this day possible."
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said, "I want to congratulate Governor Hochul, the New York Islanders, their fans, and our partners in government and the private sector whose vision, hard work, and commitment made this historic day possible. For years the Islanders have dreamed of a first-class, state-of-the-art arena they can call home. Today, that dream comes true."
Co-founders of Sterling Project Development Jeff Wilpon and Richard Browne said, "We are tremendously proud to stand with Tim and Scott as we open UBS Arena. Our deepest thanks to the Governor, the dedicated staff at Empire State Development and the Office of General Services, and the local elected officials who supported this groundbreaking public-private partnership that will transform the local community."
President of UBS Americas Tom Naratil said, "We're deeply proud to be part of this once-in-a-generation opportunity in the financial, entertainment and sports capital of the world. It's incredibly exciting to see the UBS name on the country's premier venue, and we're grateful to be in the family of partners that made UBS Arena a reality for fans, for the community and for Islanders Nation."
CEO of Oak View Group Tim Leiweke said, "We are thrilled to welcome fans into UBS Arena this weekend. The brand new, state of the art building that's made for music and built for hockey will have an experience that's second to none in the area. Thanks to Governor Hochul and the State of New York for their tremendous support of our team and this project."
For approximately two years, Empire State Development and New York Belmont Partners, and its affiliate, New York Arena Partners — a joint venture among Oak View Group, the New York Islanders and Jeff Wilpon — shepherded the Belmont Redevelopment Project through a rigorous and transparent public review process, which included 12 public meetings and hearings and ongoing meetings with local organizations and stakeholders. Input from local officials, community members and the project's Community Advisory Committee shaped the project every step of the way, including the addition of the new Elmont — UBS Arena LIRR station and the renovation of Elmont Road Park. In the summer of 2019, the project received its public approvals from the Empire State Development Board of Directors, the Franchise Oversight Board and the Public Authorities Control Board.
Representative Gregory Meeks said, "I'm thrilled to welcome the New York Islanders back to Long Island. The new stadium will generate jobs and boost local economic opportunities. Furthermore, the new LIRR station in Elmont, the first new station in almost 50 years, will allow for more public transit options that will ease New Yorkers' work commutes and ensure equitable access to the UBS Arena."
State Senator Leroy Comrie said, "Responsible, community led economic development, is essential to bringing New York back, and I am excited about the collaboration that has brought Queens and Nassau Counties together to see the Islanders return home to Long Island with the opening of the $1.1 billion multi-purpose, state-of-the-art UBS Arena located at Belmont Park. It took quite a bit of doing, but we are finally crossing the finish line and looking forward to an economic boost for the region and the state. I would like to commend and congratulate, Governor Kathy Hochul, the team at Empire State Development, the MTA/LIRR leadership, the UBS Arena Partners, the Wilpons, Jon Ledecky, our friends in organized labor, my colleagues in government but most importantly, community leaders on the Advisory Council and others who stood up and spoke up about what needed to be done to preserve and protect neighborhood integrity while having a vision to move our state and communities forward. From pushing for the new Elmont LIRR station to raising awareness of the need for open space and education programs, our local resident leaders paved the way for public-private partnership and investment that will benefit the region for generations to come"
State Senator Anna M. Kaplan said, "The beautiful new UBS Arena at Belmont Park demonstrates what's possible through effective public-private partnerships and productive community engagement. This remarkable new facility will finally bring the Islanders home to Nassau County where they belong, and it will be a source of entertainment and economic development that will benefit our entire community. I'm so grateful for the hard work and dedication of everyone responsible for this great achievement, including Governor Kathy Hochul, the staff of Empire State Development, members of the community who provided their input, the private sector, and all the workers who showed up throughout the pandemic to keep the project on-time and on-budget. Today is truly a great day for all of Long Island!"
State Senator Todd Kaminsky said, "Bringing the Islanders home to a state-of-the-art arena on Long Island is a victory. This project will be a catalyst for the region and has just the beginning of what will be a world-class complex that brings good jobs and mass transit to the surrounding communities. Today shows that we can think big and accomplish important, transformative projects."
Assembly Member Clyde Vanel said, "This is a great day for New York. We are excited to have the New York Islanders and the The UBS Arena as our neighbors. Along with great events, we anticipate it being a jobs hub for our community. We are also excited to have a new Long Island railroad station. The UBS arena will be a great place to create memories for years to come."
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, "It's a historic day for Nassau County and for Islanders Nation. The Belmont project has benefited our local communities since day 1, creating new jobs and economic activity, expanding our public transit network, and bringing our beloved Isles home for good - a hat trick for Nassau. As an avid supporter of this effort, I'm proud of the team that got the job done. Let's go Islanders!"
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said, "Queens is thrilled to welcome the New York Islanders to our immediate area, but we're also thrilled about the job creation and economic activity benefiting our borough that the opening of the spectacular new UBS Arena will generate. Here's to bringing home the Stanley Cup for the Islanders and bringing home the bacon economically for both Queens and Nassau County."
Town of Hempstead Supervisor Donald Clavin said, "Today is a great day for the Town of Hempstead and the State of New York."
President of the Long Island Federation of Labor John Durso said, "Governor Hochul, the Islanders organization, the fans, and the working people of this region all came together to make this day a reality. It's an iconic moment in Islanders and Long Island's history. All involved should be proud of what we have accomplished, and excited for what is still to come!"
President of the Building and Construction Trades Council Matty Aracich said, "We could not be more excited about the completion of Long Island's home of the NY Islanders. Through this project, we have seen the finished results of our skilled Tradeswomen and Tradesmen who worked as "True Artisans" to make this the best entertainment destination in the nation. The Building Trades Council is especially grateful for the role Governor Hochul and NYS Empire State Development had in making this project the economic engine for Nassau County and supporting organized labor throughout the entire process."
President of 32BJ SEIU Kyle Bragg said, "Getting New York's events spaces up and running is an important element of our state's recovery. The opening of the UBS Arena will bring hundreds of good jobs to Belmont, including many year-round cleaning and security jobs with good wages. We are proud to support this project and look forward many lively seasons there."
NYRA CEO & President Dave O'Rourke said, "The completion of UBS Arena serves as a reminder of all that is possible in New York State," said NYRA President & CEO Dave O'Rourke. "Belmont Park is an iconic property that has provided the stage for some of the most exciting and memorable moments in the history of sports, and we are thrilled to welcome UBS Arena and the New York Islanders to their new home in the place where champions are crowned."
Chair of the Elmont Coalition of Sustainable Development Sandra Smith said, "The completion of this arena is a major win for the Elmont community. I am excited to continue to work with New York Arena Partners to improve our community and bring more opportunities to the residents of Elmont."
President of the Elmont Cardinals Jon Johnson said, "The completion of this project is something the Elmont community has looked forward to. This arena will bring many economic opportunities for the Elmont community. I am eager to continue to engage with New York Arena Partners to complete the renovations at Elmont Road Park and to support the local community."
Elmont Chamber of Commerce President Julie Marchesella said, "The Elmont Chamber of Commerce welcomes the New York Islanders and the New York Arena Partners as members of the Elmont Community. This entertainment complex is a long-awaited addition to the economic development of New York State, Nassau County and the Elmont community at large. We look forward to a long working relationship with our new neighbors!"
About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York's chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Kathy Hochul's Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NY" the State's iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit http://www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and esd.ny.gov.
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