Don't expect the NY Islanders to host All-Star weekend for a few years

New York Islanders First Practice At UBS Arena
New York Islanders First Practice At UBS Arena / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

It's not a matter of if UBS Arena and Long Island will host an NHL All-Star Weekend; it's a matter of when. That might not be for a while, or at least a few more years. According to Dave Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, Islanders fans will have to wait a few years longer as the new arena is not expected to host festivities in 2025 or 2026.

"The NHL is still taking bids for its future All-Star Games and NHL Drafts, and no decisions have been made, to this point. There was chatter the Islanders would be in line to host an ASG in either 2025 or 2026, but I’m told that’s not the case and that is more likely to occur after 2026."

Dave Pagnotta, The Fourth Period

It was announced earlier this month that Toronto would be the host city next year with Detroit, Edmonton and Seattle (their arena opened the same year as UBS) as the front-runners.

Back in mid-January, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman indicated that he wanted to hold "league events" at the fourth-generation arena, but now was not the time as the surrounding areas around Belmont Park still need to be developed to optimize the experience for fans that travel from around North America and beyond to attend All-Star Weekend.

Gary Bettman, Jon Ledecky, Andrew Cuomo
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Announces Start Of New New York Islanders Arena At Belmont Park / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

“We want to bring league events to UBS,” Bettman said. “But everybody’s agreed that we want to bring them to the finished product, which is the surrounding area. “That arena is great. I took the train out [Wednesday] night, [it took] 29 minutes from my office, and once they finish the development surrounding it, it’s gonna be terrific, and we’ll bring our events there.”

The Islanders last hosted the All-Star Game in 1983 at the Nassau Coliseum.

Wayne Gretzky was named MVP in that game, scoring four third-period goals in a 9-3 win for the Campbell Conference. It was the first time the NHL placed conference names on the uniform, with the home Wales Conference team wearing white jerseys with orange trim and the visiting Campbell team wearing orange jerseys with black trim.