Islanders ownership would like to build an arena by the Belmont track
The third leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, the Belmont, is on the Saturday schedule but this race should be secondary to what is happening on the racetrack property. Will the property house an arena that will be the future home of the New York Islanders? Will the team remain in Brooklyn in the foreseeable future or will the team skate near the Mets home field in Flushing, Queens? One of the team owners Jonathan Ledecky said Brooklyn is the team’s home but the Islanders owners are looking at other plots of land in the New York City metropolitan area. In September, 2016, Ledecky added “the Brooklyn arena is a first-class facility, and it’s our home. The arena management has been very receptive in helping to improve the fan experience. So, I think it’s interesting to read press accounts but Brooklyn is our home. And even if one was to surmise that a new arena was being planned, that would take a long time in the New York market.”
Ledecky is correct, when Rudy Giuliani departed as New York City mayor in 2001, he wanted new baseball parks for the Mets and Yankees. The new stadiums came in 2009. The Kingsbridge Armory multi-ice rink proposal in the Bronx seems to finally to be moving ahead after a dispute between government officials and developers over money. The Bronx project was approved in 2013. A Manhattan proposed New York Jets/Olympic Stadium was tabled by New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in 2005. The Brooklyn building took many years to complete and is near a spot that Walter O’Malley wanted for his Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1950s. The New York Giants baseball franchise could not build a west side Manhattan stadium. O’Malley never got his stadium the one he wanted in Brooklyn, not a Queens site and moved to Los Angeles. It is not easy building an arena in New York City or Nassau County.
New York State is ready to develop the property that includes the Belmont racetrack.