NYCFC, Islanders to go head-to-head for Belmont Park land as potential new home

Today is the deadline for responses to New York state’s Request For Proposals for redeveloping a plot of land near Belmont Park racetrack just outside the New York City border, and it looks like the Islanders are going to have some sports competition for their arena plans after all:

New York City FC, the pro soccer team partly owned by the Yankees, is preparing the submit a bid to build a soccer stadium on the state-run property in Elmont, Long Island, near the Queens border, sources told The Post Monday night…

NYCFC would partner with developer Related Co. in its proposal, sources said. … The Islanders bid is expected to include teaming up with Sterling Project Development, which is controlled by the majority owners of the Mets; and Oak View Group, which is backed by Madison Square Garden, owners of the NHL’s Rangers and National Basketball Association’s Knicks.

The state Empire State Development Corporation told me it won’t be releasing the RFP responses, so we’re going to have to depend on whatever the Islanders and NYC F.C. tell us about their plans, which isn’t likely to be much. (Though I do eagerly anticipate some wacky renderings with lots of fireworks going off.) The prospect of two sports franchises going at it for the same land at least raises the possibility of a Seattle-style bidding war here, which could only be good for New York state taxpayers. More news, and pretty pictures, tomorrow, I hope.


25 comments on “NYCFC, Islanders to go head-to-head for Belmont Park land as potential new home

  1. Mets vs. Yankees

    If the land were inside the City, the Islanders bid would be hampered by MSG’s involvement due to Nolan’s anti-westside stadium involvement. Instead of a crappy football team, Hells Kitchen is getting a Neiman Marcus. Hmmm.

    • This will be entirely up to Cuomo, since Empire State Development is his puppy. Unless there are any subsidies required that would need to involve the legislature, but I imagine they’ll both try to steer clear of those since the NYS legislature is a legendary quagmire.

  2. Isn’t a hockey arena a no-brainer? 150% more home games, 20+ more concerts/shows and it keeps the area viable year-round.

    If the state chooses soccer because it’s a “better deal for taxpayers”, they’d be stepping over dollars to pick up dimes.

  3. This would be a horrible move for NYCFC. Their fan base is in Manhattan, not Queens. Belmont Park is too far from Manhattan. This is only time I can think of where attendance would be expected to go down if they built a new stadium.

    • Worse than that, their marketing has always been “We Are The Only Team In NYC”. Don’t root for the ex-Metros now NYRB since they are New Jersey’s team.

      Moving to Belmont Park, which isn’t even in Queens so not in NYC, would pretty much confirm that that was all bull.

  4. OVG’s RFP response in Seattle is still going through negotiation and they’re already working on the next one for an NHL team on the other coast ?

    I guess that’s “full speed ahead” on making sure you’ve got some arena project, somewhere.

    BTW, the 115 page Seattle RFP response had this line in it fortelling this:

    “OVG is currently underway in the development of a new arena in New York State for the Islanders NHL franchise and a new MLS Stadium in Miami-Dade County for David Beckham’s expansion team.”

  5. Isn’t this the same track that the NYCosmos were denied approval for a stadium upon? I think I remember NYCFC spent $1M giving to protest groups against the stadium proposal.

    With the Barc center ice being sub par, and then redeveloping the coliseum to lower capacity under the same owner, it seems like they might not want a third arena in the area for competition. Of course, I don’t know how many arenas Long Island actually needs.

  6. If the Islanders move the Belmont, will they take the banner that Barclays has honoring a crack dealer? Or does it stay in Brooklyn because drug dealers are highly regarded by players like Carmelo Anthony?

    • That joke would have worked better if 1) Carmelo Anthony played for the Nets and not the Knicks, and 2) Carmelo Anthony hadn’t been traded to Cleveland last week. Not much better, but better.

      • But it does say something is seriously wrong with the NBA when one team honors a crack dealer like Biggie Smalls and a star for another practices his own version of omerta. As that well known philosopher Cher once said “Drugs never did anybody any good. My father died young because of drugs. My marriage to Greg Allman failed because of drugs”.

        • Are we really here to talk about crack dealing?? You know this banner is in a building named for a company with dealings of its own that make crack dealing look like giving away food & clothing at a shelter? Spare me.
          You know there’s something seriously wrong with the NBA when teams play in buildings named after companies fined hundreds of millions of dollars for ripping off their own customers, or who have in their storied past and present, dealt with dictatorships and governments in southern Africa… sheesh

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