UBS Arena is becoming a cash cow for the NY Islanders and their business partners

Washington Capitals v New York Islanders
Washington Capitals v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Similar to players, new arenas can experience growing pains during their rookie season.

That was the case for UBS Arena, home to the New York Islanders, which was faced with first finishing construction during a global pandemic and then opening without much of the building's surrounding infrastructure yet in place. However, after working out the kinks in year one and starting to see the complete vision come to life, it has doubled its revenue success from a year ago.

According to Billboard's 2024 mid-year rankings, the sparkling world-class arena jumped from $22 million in gross concert receipts at this point in 2023 (39 shows) to $44 million (56 shows) in 2024. The New York metro area is ultra-competitive for entertainment dates, with Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center, and larger venues such as MetLife Stadium all vying for the same acts. To find their footing, UBS Arena has booked a wide variety of acts with a far-reaching appeal that markets well to the diverse population of New York City, the outer boroughs, and Long Island.

"We spend a lot [of] time developing inclusive programming that reflects that diversity, and we’ve had great success with not only rock, pop, and country but also Caribbean, soca, K-pop, C-pop, and artists from India," said Mark Shulman of Oak View Group, who manages the arena in partnership with the Islanders.

Then, of course, is the success of the hockey team.

The Islanders aren't selling out every game but are drawing well at UBS Arena through their first three seasons. While some fans clamor for a rebuild, remaining a playoff contender is key to maintaining season ticket membership and then cashing in on playoff revenue.

The same big selling points that make UBS Arena an elite concert venue are what makes it attractive for the National Hockey League as well. The arena features countless bars and lounges, the Heineken Terrace, and most recently, The Park at UBS Arena, which provide a pre and post-game outdoor vibe for fans. That has all led to the arena hosting the 2026 All-Star Game, something the franchise hasn't done since the 1983 game was held at the Nassau Coliseum.

Things are on the rise for UBS Arena and the sense is the best is still yet to come.