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Islanders' new home to be called UBS Arena

'First-class' building at Belmont Park projected to open in time for start of 2021-22 season

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

The New York Islanders' new home will be called UBS Arena.

The building, which will seat 17,000 for hockey, is under construction at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, and projected to be open for the start of the 2021-22 season. It will display the largest scoreboard in New York with high definition technology and two levels of high-resolution LED ribbon boards.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he could see the arena hosting a future NHL All-Star Game or NHL Draft.

"To be able to embrace the Islanders organization and Islander fans with NHL events, it's something we haven't been able to do in the last couple of decades, to say the least at Nassau Coliseum," Commissioner Bettman said Wednesday during a Zoom call to announce the 20-year naming rights agreement with UBS. "I think is going to be great for the League, because it shows NHL hockey in a first-class terrific way."

Ground was broken for UBS Arena on Sept. 23, 2019. Construction was paused March 27 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus but restarted May 27 to create a permanent home for the Islanders, who split home games between Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, and Barclays Center in Brooklyn since the start of last season. 

"Hockey is very much alive and well in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area," Bettman said. "It's another indication, representation, to the people of New York, particularly Islander fans, that all of the uncertainty that has surrounded this franchise over the last couple of decades, all of the people who were concerned what was the future of the team going to be? Was it even going to be here? Not only is the future secure, it's going to be in a state-of-the-art, first-class arena, which is something from a hockey standpoint this team hasn't had in years."

Among the amenities are a 23,000 square-foot locker room and training facility. There will views of the ice throughout the building and an Islanders Club, a sports bar decorated with memorabilia and a standing room section.

"Our group of fans are so excited about this situation that my mobile phone literally blew up, I had to turn it off because of all the text messages," Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky said. "One of the fans wrote, 'We're going from the barn to the bank,' which I thought was a really interesting expression."

Ledecky said he recalled meeting Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin at a wedding, where Ovechkin told him Nassau Coliseum is his favorite building because he could feel the energy and fans.

"We're going to take that energy from the Coliseum, and we're going to transport it over to the UBS Arena," Ledecky said. "It's going to serve as a beacon of strength for the local community and our fans. It's been made for music but built for hockey."

The Islanders left Nassau Coliseum, their home since entering the NHL in 1972, for Barclays Center in 2015, and returned Dec. 1, 2018 for the first of 23 regular-season games. Their bid to build an arena at Belmont Park was selected by New York State on Dec. 20, 2017.

"This is just another major piece to the foundation of the Islanders, of the arena at Belmont, Long Island and the whole New York metropolitan area moving forward," Bettman said. "For Islander fans, this is just another indication that while it's been a long and winding road under Scott Malkin's and Jon Ledecky's ownership, and the collaborations and partnerships that have been put together, the best is yet to come."
 

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