A little over a week after unveiling their plans at a community meeting at an Elmont high school, the Islanders and NYCFC are close to finding out who will win their bid to build their vision at Belmont Park.
Newsday’s Robert Brodsky and Jim Baumbach are reporting that an announcement will be made this Wednesday at 11 am revealing who the winner is. Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to be on hand at the park for the news conference.
As we saw at the recent unveiling, the Islanders’ plan includes an 18,000-seat arena, 435,000 square feet of retail and a 200-250 room hotel. NYCFC’s plans include a 26,000-seat open air stadium, slightly less retail space and a park.
Sources tell me the two bidders have not been informed about who has won the RFP https://t.co/x3cS0k4ev3— Robert Brodsky (@BrodskyRobert) December 18, 2017
Whichever way this goes, it will be the culmination of a quest to get a team a stadium to call their own with no strings attached (or, at least, less strings). The Islanders want an arena they can build to their specifications, that they can control and where they can reap the majority of the revenue. NYCFC wants out of Yankee Stadium to establish their own identity. At least, that’s what I assume they want.
This may come as a shock given this is an Islanders blog, but this is kind of a big deal for our guys. NYCFC and their fans have seemed less committed to the land than Islanders owner Jon Ledecky, who’s been shouting from the mountaintops for months that the hockey team, “has blinders on for Belmont.” A quick check of NYCFC fans on social media will show a lot of people hoping their now Bronx-based team doesn’t end up way the hell out near Queens.
Some of us have been following Islanders arena news longer than we care to remember. Wednesday is set to be the beginning of the next chapter in the story.