Report: Islanders Have 25-Year 'Non-Relocation' Pact With Belmont Park


It was a long road to get there, but the Islanders will finally get their new arena.

Construction has officially begun on the franchise’s 17,113-seat venue at Belmont Park. The spiffy, state-of-the-art arena is set to open in the fall of 2021.

When the Islanders do finally move into their new home, it’s likely that they’ll be staying there for a very long time. According to Jim Baumbach of Newsday, the team has a “non-relocation” agreement of 25 years with Belmont Park.

This deal essentially means that the team can’t move again for that period of time, although it does seem unlikely that it would want to after all the headaches involved in finding this location to build on.

Islanders General Manager Lou Lamoriello, co-owner Jon Ledecky, coach Barry Trotz and captain Anders Lee and goaltender Thomas Greiss take part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new hockey arena at Belmont Park on September 23, 2019.Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Newsday obtained a copy of the agreement, which is between the Islanders and Empire State Development, the agency that owns the land which will soon house both Belmont Park and the Isles’ new arena.

"The Islanders have been part of Long Island’s DNA since 1972, and this agreement ensures they will continue to play on the Island for decades to come," ESD spokesman Jack Sterne said. "We are proud that New York State’s successful partnership with the team helped guarantee a longtime home for Isles fans — whose permanent location was on ice for far too long — while supporting a project that will create thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars in economic activity," the ESD said in a statement to Newsday.

The Islanders moved into Barclays Center in Brooklyn back in 2015, but that proved to be troublesome for a few reasons. Attendance suffered at the Nets’ home, as it was a step further for the team’s base of fans of Long Island. Barclays Center also hasn’t received good reviews as a hockey venue.

At the moment, the team is splitting its home games between Brooklyn and the Nassau Coliseum. Nassau County hosted the team’s games in the first round of the playoffs, while Brooklyn hosted the games played in the second round.

Assuming there are no major unforeseen issues with the construction project, the Islanders will be settling down in Belmont Park for the long term.