NHL Chief Content Officer says "really big news" is coming for NY Islanders fans

UBS Arena is primed for premier events

Arizona Coyotes v New York Islanders
Arizona Coyotes v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Whether or not UBS Arena will host playoff games later this spring is yet to be determined, but the state-of-the-art home of the New York Islanders that opened in 2022 is ready to host marquee events, according to an NHL senior executive.

Earlier this week, Audacy's Peter Schwartz caught up with NHL Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer for his Double Chili Podcast to about the excitement and challenges of hosting two outdoor games in less than 24 hours at MetLife Stadium this weekend. The New Jersey Devils host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night, and then the Islanders and New York Rangers play on Sunday afternoon.

Later in the interview, when asked about whispers that the Isles are candidates for future festivities, Mayer strongly hinted that marquee NHL events would soon be coming to Long Island and UBS Arena. “I think that the Islander fans will hear soon some really big news regarding some events that could be coming your way,” said Mayer.

"I love what they did at Belmont Park, activating right next to that arena for the winter. Believe me, that's recognized at the league level, and it's really exciting," Mayer added. "This is an arena that is world-class and needs to be a host of some of our marquee events, for sure."

The organization opened "The Park" at UBS Arena on Dec. 27, creating an outdoor pre and post-game experience that features two outdoor pond hockey rinks and a beer garden that is open to the public. Since its opening, the team has moved its MSG Networks broadcast pre and post-game shows to the outside to interact with fans and showcase the outdoor festivities.

The opening of Belmont Park Village is expected later this summer as the vision ownership had for the area surrounding the arena starts to take shape. The Village will be the 12th luxury outlet center in the company portfolio of majority owner Scott Malkins' Value Retail and the first of its kind in North America. Seeing and experiencing the final product was something that was viewed as a pre-requisite by the NHL in order for UBS Arena to host marquee events.

Jon Ledecky, Scott Malkin
Detroit Red Wings v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

“We want to bring league events to UBS,” Bettman said in early 2023. “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 last 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.”

It appears the Islanders have shown the league enough to start doing just that, whether it be a "de-centralized" draft in the summer, an upcoming All-Star weekend, or UBS Arena as one of the venues to host the 2025 NHL 4 Nations Face-Off, which was announced earlier this month. Boston is speculated as the US-based city, though that hasn't been confirmed by the NHL.