December 3, 2017 | 11:27pm ET
ISLANDERS “ALL IN” ON BELMONT PARK ARENA PROPOSAL
Josh Bailey and John Tavares
The New York Islanders are hoping to finalize plans for their new home, even though no timelines have been solidified, and they appear to be fully committed to their one and only plan, which is calling home to a brand new arena at Belmont Park.
Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky told New York Newsday the club has no other option in place beyond their Belmont Park arena proposal and that he and his partners are “all in” with this plan.
“We have no Plan B, and we haven’t even thought about one,” he told the paper.
The Islanders’ current deal with the Barclays Center in Brooklyn has one more guaranteed season left, as the organization’s 25-year lease with the facility has an opt-out clause that is almost certainly going to be initiated. Unless an extension can be negotiated, the Isles will need a new home for the 2019-20 season, though the belief is something will be worked out as a temporary solution.
A new arena at Belmont Park would take two-to-three seasons to build once they break ground, and while the Islanders have had numerous issues in the past with proposed stadiums, Ledecky is confident this will move forward.
“The past is the past, and we’re all about the future,” he said. “And we think we have something that really will galvanize the community in a very positive way. It will galvanize the fan base and we think it’s a tremendous opportunity for the Long Island area to have a world-class, really state-of-the-art arena.”
Joining the Islanders’ group in their bid are the New York City FC, an MLS franchise partially-owned by the New York Yankees, and Syosset-based developer Blumenfeld Development Group, per Newsday, which also notes Empire State Development has given no indicated as to when it will decide on a winning bid to develop the land.
The Isles are most certainly putting all of their eggs in one basket, for now, and their hopes also pertain to the future of captain John Tavares, who is in the final year of his contract and can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Tavares, though not concerned with his contractual status at the moment, has given no indication as to whether he wants to leave the organization, but having a brand new facility for a team trending upwards will most certainly play a factor in his final decision, whenever that may be.