They Got Belmont
GM Lou Lamoriello said it best: “Without Belmont, there is no New York Islanders on Long Island.” He’s right. Without a new arena, the New York Islanders could not continue operating as this nomadic team drifting between the Barclays Center and the Nassau Coliseum.
The Barclays Center, while under new ownership, was never a place they could call home. Even with JosephTsai at the helm, the damage has been done and is likely irreparable now. The Coliseum is getting a second lease on life with a recent $100 million facelift and a few Isles games, but it just isn’t a full-time NHL venue any longer.
The Islanders needed a new long-term home that could bring them into the modern era. And if it wasn’t Belmont there likely wasn’t another possibility. There certainly wouldn’t be another opportunity that received so much political support.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has his hands all over the Belmont file. Ever since the RFP for Belmont was announced after the New York Cosmos’ plan was pulled, the Governor’s office seemed to be in the Islanders corner.
Getting the right to build a new arena at Belmont was no small task, and it certainly won’t come cheap. But it’s massively important for the stability of this franchise both in the immediate short-term and in the long-term.
And, let’s be honest, it certainly helps the valuation of the New York Islanders franchise.