Islanders: Belmont and all non-essential construction put on hold

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ELMONT, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: A ceremonial shovel used for the groundbreaking of the New York Islanders new hockey arena is shown at Belmont Park on September 23, 2019 in Elmont, New York. The $1.3 billion facility, which will seat 19,000 and include shops, restaurants and a hotel, is expected to be completed in time for the 2021-2022 hockey season. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Construction has halted on the New York Islanders new arena at Belmont Park as NY state increases measures to flatten the curve during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, all non-essential construction in the state of New York was stopped while the state attempts to flatten the curve of coronavirus cases. That means construction on the New York Islanders Belmont arena has been put on hold for the time being.

This morning no work could be seen being done on the site from the Belmont's live cam. How long construction will be on hold isn't clear just yet, nor does it really matter.

In his daily address to the state, Governor Cuomo didn't elaborate on what is and isn't essential construction, but a release from Empire State Development clearly lays out what is and isn't essential.

Empire State Development:

Essential construction may continue and includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters.

Whether this presents a delay for the opening of the Belmont Arena for a scheduled opening for the 2021-22 season doesn't matter. Right now, what matters is that everyone follows the direction of the state.

The Belmont Arena will be built, there's no question of that. The New York Islanders will have a new home to call their own and it will be on Long Island. There's no question that this is the right call to make and whatever happens to the Isles new arena at Belmont Park right now is well behind that. It's not a priority right now.

I hope you are all staying healthy, following what comes from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and are practicing social distancing (or physical distancing as my municipal government wants me to call it.)

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.