Islanders consider playing at Nassau Coliseum while Belmont arena is built

Islanders consider playing at Nassau Coliseum while Belmont arena is built
Jon Ledecky, co-owner of the New York Islanders, seen here at a December press conference announcing the team's return to Nassau County, may be considering returning to Nassau Coliseum while the team awaits their new Belmont arena. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

As the New York Islanders await their new arena at Belmont Park, the hockey team might be looking to come home to its old stomping grounds early by playing at the Nassau Coliseum, the place it abandoned for the Barclays Center.

The Islanders and Barclays can opt out of their 25-year agreement in January, a possibility  the Islanders’ owners, Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky, are looking into, according to Newsday.

The Belmont arena will not be ready until the 2021 season, leaving a gap for the team to choose a place to play.

Ledecky and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman met at Nassau Coliseum earlier this month to discuss using the venue while the Belmont arena is being constructed. Nassau County Executive Laura Curran attended, as well, to meet Ledecky and Bettman but did not participate in any discussions about using the Coliseum, according to Michael Martino, Curran’s communication director.

The Islanders played at the Coliseum for about 43 years before moving to Barclays in 2015.

The Coliseum underwent a $165 million renovation and reopened in April, but Ledecky said it still was not suitable for the team to play in, according to Newsday.

In December, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the Islanders’ winning proposal to build at Belmont, Cuomo asked Bettman to reconsider allowing the team to play at the renovated Coliseum – reopening the discussion.

Efforts to reach the Islanders were unavailing.

Ledecky said on WFAN’s “Boomer & Gio” show that the decision is up to the NHL.

“This is in the hands of the National Hockey League, which has to make an assessment of any arena games will be played in,” Ledecky said. “I’m confident that something will be worked out, yes.”

The Islanders, partnered with Sterling Development and Oak View Group, plan to create a 18,000-seat arena, a multipurpose event center, a retail center and a hotel.

In addition to the development at Belmont, Cuomo announced the MTA will renovate the Belmont train station.

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here