New York City FC has some stiff competition for a stadium at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. — the New York Islanders.
Islanders owner Jon Ledecky, whose team plays at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, said Tuesday there was a “singular focus” for a new arena at Belmont.
“We are locked and loaded on Belmont,” Ledecky said at a Manhattan luncheon with Islanders beat writers, according to Newsday. “We have the blinders on for Belmont. We’re not looking at other places, other things, other opportunities. We want to make Belmont a reality.”
Last month the Islanders submitted a bid with several partners, including owners of the New York Mets and Madison Square Garden, to develop a new arena.
“The best home and the only home for the New York Islanders moving forward should be the Belmont arena,” Ledecky told Newsday.
The Empire State Development Corp. announced in July a request for proposals to develop 36 acres of vacant parking lots at the racetrack.
On Sept. 28, NYCFC, which has called Yankee Stadium home since joining MLS as an expansion team in 2015, put in a bid that includes a recreational area for fans outside the stadium, Newsday said. A retail component also is being proposed by Related Cos., a Manhattan-based developer, the paper said.
The soccer club has expressed interest in three other locations, the Harlem River Yards in the South Bronx and a spot near the stadium and in Flushing, according to Newsday.
City became the second soccer team to bid Belmont as the Cosmos (North American Soccer League) placed a proposal in January 2013 before the ESDC and waited for three years before the agency asked them and other bidders to resubmit their proposals.
Most of the Belmont property is located in Elmont, which is in Nassau County and not the city. That conflicts with the club’s name.
The ESDC isn’t expected to make a decision for several months.
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