Islanders Most Important Game Of The 2017-18 Season Is Tonight

New York Islanders ownership wants to build an arena near Belmont racetrack.

The New York Islanders franchise is playing in an extremely important playoff game near Belmont racetrack tonight.

The ownership group will be part of a public hearing as politicians decide what they think is the right thing to do with a large parcel of property surrounding the racetrack. Islanders ownership would like to build an arena on the land near the New York City-Nassau County line. The Islanders ownership group will be filing a request for a proposal at the Belmont site.

The public hearing is the first step. The Islanders franchise has always been about real estate.

The National Hockey League team was part of an overall portfolio which would have seen 77 acres of land in Uniondale, New York, suburban Nassau County built as an arena-village complete with a sports facility, shopping, offices and housing.

Howard Millstein failed in 1997 to get a new arena and Charles Wang failed in 2010. Wang moved his team to Brooklyn. He sold the team to Jonathan Ledecky and Scott Malkin three years ago but Wang only gave up control a year ago.

New York Islanders

If all goes well, the Islanders ownership will build an arena next to the Belmont racetrack

The Ledecky-Malkin group is not thrilled with the Brooklyn arena set up. New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and Madison Square Garden owner James Dolan along with sports and music industry heavyweights are partnering with Islanders ownership at the Belmont site. The North American Soccer League’s New York Cosmos ownership group failed to get permission to build a stadium on the land.

The Belmont site has been dangled by New York State for years but nothing has materialized. The entire 45-year history of the New York Islanders franchise has been tied to real estate starting with the granting of a team to Nassau County by the NHL to keep the upstart rival World Hockey Association out of the New York market in 1972.

It’s all about real estate, not sports.