Isles' Belmont Park Deal Includes 25-Year "Non-Relocation" Agreement
The Islanders' arena deal with New York "includes a 'non-relocation' agreement that is intended to keep the team at Belmont Park for 25 years," according to Jim Baumbach of NEWSDAY. The team's 17,113-seat hockey arena is "under construction and scheduled to open" in October '21. Land owners Empire State Development said that the non-relocation agreement in the deal is "necessary because the arena project went forward with the Islanders in mind." The agreement states that if the Islanders "break the agreement during the 25-year window," they would have to "pay ESD a penalty, which decreases each year." Baumbach notes the team would have to pay ESD $86.25M if "they leave in the first year; the figure drops" to $5M in the 25th year. The "development of the Islanders' arena along with the accompanying 250-room hotel and 350,000 square feet of retail is being privately funded by New York Arena Partners." The developers also are "helping finance a new Long Island Rail Road station that will be connected to the Main Line so it's accessible for eastbound and westbound commuters." The "only way the agreement permits the Islanders to leave during the term without penalty is if ESD agrees to their departure or if the new LIRR station isn't operational from both the east and west" by the end of '24 (NEWSDAY, 2/11).