An NHL Team Ditched Its Roots. Now It's Going Back

New York Islanders are headed back to Long Island
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 20, 2017 12:17 AM CST
New York Islanders Headed Back to Suburbs
Pedestrians pass the Barclays Center before an NHL hockey game between the New York Islanders and the Washington Capitals on Jan. 31, 2017, in New York.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The New York Islanders may be returning to the New York suburbs after a move to Brooklyn floundered. The hockey team won a bid to build a new arena on the grounds of the Belmont Park racetrack, home to the third leg of horse racing's Triple Crown each June, Newsday reports. An announcement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected Wednesday. The Islanders submitted a development bid for a portion of the Belmont complex in September with several partners, including owners of the New York Mets and Madison Square Garden. The state-run Empire State Development Corp. announced in July a request for proposals to develop 36 acres of vacant and underutilized parking lots at the site of the racetrack.

Also bidding was the New York City FC soccer team, which envisioned building a stadium on the site in Elmont, just east of New York City. In October, Islanders owner Jon Ledecky said the team will play at Barclays Center in Brooklyn through the end of next season and the "singular focus" beyond that was for a new arena at Belmont Park. The team played at Nassau Coliseum from its inception in 1972 until the move to Brooklyn in 2015, winning the Stanley Cup every year from 1980 to 1983. The move to the Brooklyn arena was greeted with displeasure by fans, who always considered the team to be a Long Island staple. They applauded the reports the team would be headed back across the city limits to Nassau County. "It's long overdue," fan Matt Herbert tells the AP.

(More New York Islanders stories.)

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