UBS Arena, NY Islanders new home at Belmont Park, hosts ribbon cutting

ELMONT, Nassau County (WABC) -- A new era for the New York Islanders came closer to a reality Friday as officials cut the ribbon on the brand new UBS Arena in Elmont, which will bring the team home to Long Island.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul joined a host of other dignitaries for the event, as the new arena marks a major milestone in the overall $1.3 billion Belmont Park Redevelopment Project that is transforming 43 acres of underutilized parking lots into a premier sports and hospitality destination.

In addition to being the new home for the hockey team, the UBS Arena will feature concerts, live entertainment and other events throughout the year.

Future phases of the Belmont Park Redevelopment Project will include a 350,000 square-foot destination entertainment and retail complex, a 250-key hotel, and a community center.

ALSO READ | New York Islanders new home, UBS Arena, holds 'topping off' ceremony
EMBED More News Videos

Kristin Thorne reports on the "topping off" ceremony of the New York Islander's new home, UBS Arena.


In addition, two rehabilitated local parks will reopen to the public in the coming months.

"Today is a monumental day for New York and the Islanders as we cut the ribbon on the world-class new UBS Arena," Hochul said. "This is the first step in the newly redeveloped Belmont Park, which will serve as an internationally recognized destination for sports, entertainment, retail and hospitality. As New York continues to recover from the COVID pandemic, Belmont Park will be instrumental in strengthening the regional economy and boosting tourism for generations to come."

Construction of all the project components is expected to create 10,000 jobs and generate $2.7 billion in economic activity for Nassau County.

The arena is adjacent to the iconic Belmont Park racetrack, and organizers expect the venue will host more than 150 major events annually "while delivering an unmatched live entertainment experience including clear sightlines and premier acoustics."

UBS Arena is designed to hold up to 19,000 people for concerts and audiences up to 17,250 for NHL games.

The Long Island Rail Road Elmont Station, the first new LIRR station in almost 50 years, will open for service on Saturday, Nov. 20, coinciding with the New York Islanders' first home game.

RELATED | 1st new LIRR station in 50 years opening just in time for Islanders homecoming
EMBED More News Videos

A new LIRR station will open to riders on Saturday, just in time for the New York Islanders' first home game at the soon-to-open UBS Arena.


The Elmont-UBS Arena Station will initially offer eastbound service to Elmont, serving the UBS Arena and Belmont Park, which retains its own dedicated part-time station.

The Islanders will kick things off Saturday when they take on the Calgary Flames.

----------
* More Long Island news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.