Islanders beat NYCFC in bids for arena site

AFP
The New York Islanders moved from their long-time home at Nassau County Coliseum into the Barclays Center in 2015, but have not drawn well being so near the Madison Square Garden home of the rival New York Rangers (AFP Photo/BRUCE BENNETT)

The New York Islanders moved from their long-time home at Nassau County Coliseum into the Barclays Center in 2015, but have not drawn well being so near the Madison Square Garden home of the rival New York Rangers

The New York Islanders moved from their long-time home at Nassau County Coliseum into the Barclays Center in 2015, but have not drawn well being so near the Madison Square Garden home of the rival New York Rangers (AFP Photo/BRUCE BENNETT)

New York (AFP) - The NHL's New York Islanders have won a bid contest to develop land near Belmont Park into a new arena site, beating New York City FC of Major League Soccer among others, multiple reports said Tuesday.

Newsday, the New York Post and New York Times reported the Islanders had taken the rights for the project near the home of the longest annual US flat racing Triple Crown event -- the Belmont Stakes.

A formal announcement was expected at the racetrack on Wednesday, according to the reports.

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 Islanders can opt out of their deal with the Barclays Center in January.

A new 18,000-seat arena would see the Islanders move back into Nassau County, nearer the club's traditional fan base, with the development to include restaurants, shops and a hotel.

Development partners for the Islanders included a real estate firm run by the Wilpon family, owners of Major League Baseball's New York Mets, and Oak View Group, an arena development company partly funded by Madison Square Garden.

Empire State Development, a state agency, accepted bids in September, including a New York City FC stadium bid.

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