Islanders getting new arena at Belmont Park

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The Islanders moved from their long-time home at the Nassau County Coliseum into the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in 2015, but the arena was not built for ice hockey and the team has not drawn well being so near the Madison Square Garden home of the rival New York Rangers.

The New York Islanders bid to build a new arena at Belmont Park will be selected by the state of New York, Newsday's Jim Baumbach reports.

While in Brooklyn, the team has had the worst attendance in the National Hockey League - 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.

After things did not go as planned with the move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the Islanders are finally headed back to Long Island. NYCFC said it was happy to be a finalist and will continue to look for a site for a new soccer-specific stadium. An effort to get a new arena built, to replace Nassau Coliseum, proved fruitless and fostered a move to a modern arena that had dates to fill. The team is last in average attendance this year in the league. Team officials outlined their development plans at a public meeting earlier this month. He said the project will be completely financed privately.

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The Massapequa resident said he attends two or three games a season in Brooklyn, compared with 10 or 12 when the team played at the Coliseum. Bettman reiterated Wednesday that a full-time return was never an option.

Belmont Park, which opened in 1905, attracts crowds approaching 100,000 or more when it plays host to the Belmont Stakes, but sees far fewer attendees on most days during the racing season.

"Growing up in Queens, I can't be more excited that the New York Islanders will have a new address, here in the 11003 zip code, Elmont, NY", Ledecky said. The state also solicited bids to develop the land in 2012 but wound up scrapping all proposals a year ago.

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