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Belmont Park development project to include 18,000-seat arena

Posted in Horse Racing News

The Belmont Park area is about to get a lot more busy and New York racing officials are hoping it will come with renewed interest in horse racing.

Arena Partners, a group representing the NHL’s Islanders won a bid to build an arena at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.  

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The new New York arena, located behind the western end of the grandstand at Belmont Park and near the Long Island Rail Road station, will be open year-round and boast 18,000 seats, have 150 annual events, 435,000-square feet of retail space, and a hotel with at least 150 rooms.

It will also have 10,000 square feet for an “innovation center” designed based on what fans want.

The Islanders’ proposal was selected over New York City FC, a soccer team partially owned by the Yankees.

“NYRA (New York Racing Association) looks forward to working with our new partners the New York Islanders to develop Belmont Park into one of the finest sports and entertainment destinations in the country,” NYRA president and CEO Chris Kay told reporters inside Belmont Park’s Turf and Field Club on Wednesday.

“Together, we will realize the full potential of this historic property while creating thousands of jobs and driving significant economic impact for this region for decades to come. This will introduce people of all ages to the excitement and enjoyment of world-class Thoroughbred horse racing, resulting in new generations of fans and horseplayers for our great sport.”

There will no disruptions in the 2018 NYRA schedule due to the construction for the arena, which is planned to be open for the 2020-21 NHL season.

Kay hopes Wednesday’s announcement can propel the track into a number of renovations.

“We want to take steps to renovate our track, renovate our clubhouse, renovate the backyard and the paddock, and this is an important step in that direction,” Kay said of Belmont Park, which opened in 1905.

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