New York

New York Islanders to Move Back to Nassau County, Build Stadium at Belmont Park: Officials

What to Know

  • The New York Islanders will build a new stadium near the Belmont Park raceway, News 4 New York has learned
  • The new stadium will include retail spaces and a hotel and would host as many as 150 events per year
  • The team will have spent just three years in Brooklyn's Barclays Center after the move, which will be officially announced Wednesday

The New York Islanders are returning to Nassau County, News 4 New York has learned.

The team was on Tuesday was awarded a state contract to build a new arena near Belmont Park in Elmont, officials familiar with the decision said.

The team's new arena is set to be formally announced on Wednesday and will be situated just behind Belmont Park grand stand and would include an entertainment plaza, hotel and 435,000 square-foot retail village. The arena will seat about 18,000 people and would host 150 events annually. 

The bid was put in by the New York Arena Partners, which includes the owners of the New York Mets and others. Another bid for the site which was not accepted was put in by the New York Football Club.

The move comes just two years after the team moved from the old Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The team still has a lease to play at the arena but will opt out in January.

While in Brooklyn, the team has had the worst attendance in the NHL -- seating an average of 11,642 fans, well below a sellout crowd of 16,795 -- despite relative success that saw them make the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2016 and just one point back from a wild card berth in 2017.

An announcement by Gov. Cuomo was expected Wednesday.

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