Proposed Islanders Arena At Belmont Would Be Next To Part-Time LIRR Station
Islanders co-Owner Jonathan Ledecky said that the proposed site for a new arena at Belmont Park will be located "next to the existing, part-time LIRR station in what is now a parking lot outside the grandstand area of the racetrack," according to Jim Baumbach of NEWSDAY. Oak View Group Arena Alliance co-Chair and NHL Panthers Exec Chair Peter Luukko, whose firm is one of the Islanders' partners in the development, said that the new arena would "host approximately 150 events per year, including Islanders games and entertainment such as concerts, family shows and college basketball games." Ledecky said that there would be 7,000 parking spots available, "allowing fans to drive and tailgate as they used to at Nassau Coliseum." Luukko said that a full-time LIRR stop at Belmont "would be necessary to meet the number of people who would be coming regularly to the arena." Baumbach noted the Belmont LIRR station is currently "used only when horse racing is taking place." Luukko said that the Belmont arena "would be managed" by OVG and the group "submitted its plan to the Empire State Development on Sept. 28." Ledecky said that he "isn't concerned about the LIRR's ability to accommodate such a plan, saying it has been amenable to adding extra trains after games at Barclays Center in response to the crush of people leaving Islanders games at the same time." He also "noted how ridership increases on game nights." Baumbach noted the Islanders' other partners on the arena project are Sterling Project Development, "controlled by the Wilpon family, who own the Mets" (NEWSDAY, 10/22).