The New York Islanders are in discussions to relocate their arena to Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, according to Robert Brodsky and Jim Baumbach of NewsDay.com.
— Robert Brodsky (@BrodskyRobert) July 22, 2016
The Islanders just finished their first season in Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York after playing at Nassau Collesium in Long Island for 43 years.
According to reports, talks between the Islanders organization and the New York Racing Association, which runs Belmont, are in early stages.
Discussions have centered around a 28-acre plot of land currently occupied by Belmont’s south parking lot that the Empire State Development Corp., the state’s primary business-aid agency, put out for bid nearly four years ago, Brodsky and Baumbach report. The site has ample parking, proximity to highways and access to a Long Island Rail Road station.
Just yesterday, reports surfaced that the club is also looking at a move to Queens, New York
New York’s current home, the Barclays Center has been under constant criticism due to a viewing experience that isn’t ideal for those in attendance. The arena also hosts the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and was originally designed with that team’s needs in mind.
Fans have complained about limited view in seats during hockey events. The arena sits 15,700 with an estimated 1,500 of those seats being obstructed.
Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment, doesn’t seem to care that the viewing experience at Barclays isn’t perfect, according to a SI interview in February.
Do we have some obstructed seats? Yes we do. Are fans aware of those obstructed seats before they purchase them? Yes they are. There’s really nothing we’re going to do from a capital improvement standpoint. You can watch the game on your mobile device. The game is on the scoreboard. There are many ways to view the game if you’re in one of those obstructed seats. We aren’t going to be able to change the seats in the building. That is what it is.
The future of the Islanders’ home arena is very much in the air after a rough first season in Brooklyn, and these reports are suggesting that the club is looking to make changes for the better.