After reporting yesterday that the New York Islanders are considering a move out of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to a possible Queens address next to Citi Field, Newsday is now reporting that the team is in active negotiation that would bring them to Belmont Park in Elmont. The New York Racing Association (NYRA) is currently “courting the Islanders” and one source was quoted as saying “This is a wonderful opportunity to bring the Islanders back home.”
The NYRA is trying to build a new stadium of some sort on a vacant 28-acre lot it has sitting close by the Belmont, and four companies (including soccer’s New York Cosmos, who intend to build a 25,000 seat venue, hotel and retail complex) have already submitted bids.
It’s clear that neither of these options have been agreed to and these are just initial discussions about the possibility of moving the team, after many fans expressed displeasure with the move to Brooklyn. The team signed a 25-year lease agreement with the Barclays Center before last season, but Newsday reports that both parties have opt-out clauses that they could trigger following the 2018-19 season.
Neither the Islanders or Barclays have commented on the situation, but we’ll keep you informed as it develops.