The deadline for the Islanders to submit a bid to develop a new arena and complex at Belmont Park needed to be done prior to 2 pm yesterday after official proposals were requested on August 1st. So what happened? The Islanders have “submitted a comprehensive proposal to create a world-class sports and entertainment destination at Belmont Park.” Per Jim Baumbach and Robert Brodsky of Newsday, “The Islanders’ group is labeled New York Arena Partners, LLC. It includes Sterling Project Development, which is controlled by the Wilpon family, the Mets owners, and Oak View Group, an arena development company backed by Madison Square Garden.” The plans would most likely include a destination that would develop other viable infrastructure on the property, around a state of the art facility.
“The Belmont RFP calls for plans that include retail, entertainment, sports and hospitality options on the 43-acre vacant land surrounding the horse track. ESD has given no timeline for its decision and it could be several months before the state picks a winning bidder.” The Islanders are currently in negotiations to modify their lease at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but reports of ownership touring other new NHL arenas (at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena yesterday according to John Shannon) and what they have to offer have surfaced over the last year, so the rumors seem to be accurate. If the re-negotiations don’t go well, executives could terminate it as of January, 2018.
Could the revived preseason experiment at the renovated (still small, inefficient and still limited luxury suite designed) Nassau Coliseum be a test for a temporary alternative to the Barc if things go south? Twitter exploded yesterday when the Islanders announced that NHL GM's have been told to not bother inquiring on John Tavares until at least January 1, possibly, further solidifying the of a JT’s extension to be tied into new arena deal. The rumors remain that both Tavares and the Islanders organization are not worried about the talks.
The Islanders group was quoted as saying, “We look forward to discussing with the Empire State Development Corporation.”
The NYCFC professional soccer team also wants to build their own 26,000 seat stadium on the site. The organization is owned in part by the New York Yankees, who along with partners appear to be the major source of competition against the Islanders. Per Bloomberg.com, “NYCFC said it would submit a proposal in a partnership with the Related Cos., a real estate firm founded by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.”
The New York Cosmos tried a couple of times to build a stadium on the site, but failed. But don’t think the NYCFC and its backers are going to go down quietly. They will only back out if opportunities are better elsewhere or things aren’t worth pursuing. And the Blumfield Development Group didn't submit another proposal after being denied on two previous bids, most recently among four failed bidders in 2013.
“The Belmont site in Elmont, New York, is controlled by the New York Racing Authority and sits about 19 miles east of Manhattan, just outside of Queens. It is accessible by car and by regional rail, and an arena there would bring the Islanders closer to its traditional Nassau County fan base.”
Andy Graziano points out, “Can't make this stuff up....#isles Belmont bid backed by Sterling (Wilpon) and Oakview (MSG). Oakview helping renegotiation with Barc. Lol.” So we wait on the next dramatic chapter of “Isles Uncertainty” to unfold, “Lighthouse” be damned!
Until then, we wait for the Empire State Development Corporation to pick a winner.
Islanders finish pre-season at Sabres tonight 7 p.m., and then at Flyers on Sunday, 5 p.m.
Per Arthur Staple, “Weight asked if Barzal has done enough at this point to make the team: "Yes."
Ho-Sang is getting the job done so far at Isles camp.
Per Brian Compton, “FWIW, Doug Weight told me this morning he's willing to sit veterans if the kids are outplaying them.”
NHL announces rule changes for 2017-18 season