Islanders Co-Owner Ledecky Says Team Solely Focused On New Belmont Park Arena
Islanders co-Owner Jonathan Ledecky said that the team's sole focus is on "building a new arena at Belmont Park," according to Baumbach & Brodsky of NEWSDAY. Ledecky said, "We are locked and loaded on Belmont. We have blinders on for Belmont. We are not looking at other places or other opportunities. We want to make Belmont a reality." Baumbach & Brodsky note the Islanders’ group, New York Arena Partners, includes Sterling Project Development, which is "controlled by the Mets’ Wilpon family and Oak View Group," which is backed by MSG. Ledecky would not discuss the specifics of the team's bid but said that the state-run property in Elmont is "'strategically located' with easy access to a Long Island Rail Road spur." The Islanders, who are in their third season playing at Barclays Center, are "engaged in negotiations over modifying their 25-year license agreement." Both sides have the ability to "opt out of the agreement in January." Ledecky said that the team will "play in Brooklyn next season, as it is contractually obligated to do, but declined to speculate where the team would play if the Belmont arena was not ready to open or if the Islanders’ bid is not chosen." Baumbach & Brodsky note two other known bidders have also "submitted plans for Belmont." A source said that NYC FC is "proposing a roughly 26,000-seat, soccer-specific stadium." Syosset-based Blumenfeld Development Group also "submitted a proposal" (NEWSDAY, 10/11). Ledecky said that the costs of an arena and what percentage the Islanders might own had "not been determined." He said, "The fact that the Mets have endorsed us financially and say that Belmont Park is the best option, that sends a very strong message as well that we’re making the right decision here" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/11).