Days before the start of the New York Islanders 2022-23 regular season, the LIRR station at UBS Arena is ready to accommodate hockey fans taking eastbound and westbound trains. Starting with Thursday's preseason game against the New Jersey Devils, Ronkonkoma and Huntington trains will now stop at the station for all Isles games and major events.
"We said that we’d get it done in time for the Islanders’ season opener, and we did."- LIRR President Catherine Rinaldi
Last November, the first new LIRR station in 50 years debuted in Elmont, NY but only served in the eastbound direction. As a result, fans that took the train to the game could only use it if their return trip was on the Hempstead Branch. For those needing to change at Jamaica for Penn Station, Atlantic Terminal, and other branches, fans needed to take one of two shuttle trains, the first leaving Belmont Park 15-20 minutes after the end of the game.
“What a great opportunity the fans have now to get to UBS Arena,” said Islanders Co-Owner Jon Ledecky at Thursday’s announcement. “To the greatest fans in the National Hockey League, you’re the most loyal in all sports. This two-way train station service is for you.”
"Elmont Station provides an essential transportation option for hockey and music fans going to and from UBS Arena, Ledecky added. Taking the train is the most sustainable way for our fans to get to the games - it's fast, it's efficient, it's effective, and it's only 30 minutes from Penn Station."
Anyone that drove to UBS Arena knows all too well that getting in and out of the arena was often a challenge, except for those that arrived early and stayed late. The parking garage, which was under construction all of last year, is now open, but now what was the South lot is where the retail village is being constructed.
Entering the team's second year at UBS Arena, fans on Long Island and throughout the metropolitan area are still trying to figure out what works best for them when traveling to the game. Now for some, the LIRR becomes a more realistic option which could make getting in and out a bit easier for those that choose to (or have to) drive to the game.