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Cuomo, pursuing re-election, announces more Islanders games next season in Nassau

Yes, the governor had an announcement on Thursday 6/21/18, New York Islanders to Play 68 Pre-Season and Regular Home Games Over the Next Three Years at NYCB LIVE, Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

That's 20 of 44 home games, including pre-season. They're expected to play 24 games a year over the next two seasons, splitting home ice with the Barclays Center. The extra games in Nassau are surely welcomed by BSE Global, which operates both venues, since it frees up the Brooklyn arena for more lucrative events.

As highlighted below, the press release called the project "entirely privately funded," ignoring the lowball lease and open-ended Long Island Rail Road costs, as I wrote. And, yes, more than a few people thought it was weird that the announcement came from the governor.

Also note, as Newsday's Jim Baumbach pointed out, that the arena is now slated to open during the 2021-22 season, not for 2021.

Still, as Newsday's Randi Marshall pointed out, it's been a very good week for the Islanders, given that they have an impressive new head coach and an improved chance to keep star free agent John Tavares. Not coincidentally, it also boosts Cuomo's chances in his re-election effort.

The press release
New York Islanders to Play 68 Pre-Season and Regular Home Games Over the Next Three Years at NYCB LIVE, Home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
New York State Invests $6 Million in NHL Enhancements at the Coliseum
Transformational Redevelopment of Belmont Park Totaling $1 Billion to Be Completed in 2021 
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York Islanders will play an additional eight regular season games during the 2018-19 season at NYCB Live, Home Of The Nassau Veteran's Memorial Coliseum. The addition of eight more regular season games reflects the high demand for the previously- announced 12 home games that will be played at the Coliseum this season. In total, 68 pre-season and regular home games will be played at the Coliseum over the next three years while construction on the Islanders' permanent home - a state-of-the-art 18,000-seat arena at Belmont Park - is completed. The new $1 billion redeveloped Belmont Park, which is entirely privately funded, will serve as an internationally recognized destination for sports, entertainment, retail and hospitality, while strengthening the local economy and boosting tourism. 
"We're bringing the Islanders home to Long Island and to the fans who have supported their team for decades," Governor Cuomo said. "Until the grand opening of their new state-of-the-art arena at Belmont Park, the Islanders will reunite with their fans at Nassau Coliseum and build momentum for a long-awaited homecoming." 
Islanders Co-Owner Jon Ledecky said, "Governor Cuomo has been fundamental in bringing the Islanders back to Long Island. Being awarded the right to develop the arena at Belmont Park as our new home has made our future a bright one." 
Beginning in September 2018, the New York Islanders have agreed to play 21 games at the Coliseum, and 47 games over the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons. Construction on the transformational redevelopment of Belmont Park, including an NHL-ready sports and entertainment arena, is anticipated to commence in 2019. The New York Islanders will play their first regular season game at Belmont Park during the 2021-2022 season. The Islanders currently play at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which will serve as the other home arena for the team over the next three seasons.

In January 2018, New York State announced $6 million in enhancements at the Coliseum to meet NHL requirements, specifically investing in ice plant redundancy and dehumidification, and media and broadcast cabling infrastructure. The improvements are expected to be completed by Fall 2018. Games will commence at the Coliseum subject to the legislature's approval of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment's lease amendment with the County and the Islanders. The state will work with Nassau County to facilitate additional enhancements. These investments are in support of larger and long-term improvements in and around the Nassau Hub and Coliseum. 
In December 2017, Governor Cuomo unveiled the 10th proposal of his 2018 State of the State: Bringing the New York Islanders home to Long Island with a world-class, year-round sports and entertainment destination at Belmont Park. At an event at Belmont Park, the Governor announced the selection of New York Arena Partners, a joint venture among Sterling Equities, the New York Islanders, Madison Square Garden and the Oak View Group, to lead the transformational redevelopment effort. The new facility will feature an 18,000-seat arena for the New York Islanders, a 435,000-square-foot world-class retail, recreation and hospitality complex, a premium full-service hotel, and other community amenities. 
The state-of-the-art project is expected to create 12,300 construction jobs and 3,100 permanent jobs. To accommodate New Yorkers and visitors traveling to the brand new facility, the Long Island Rail Road is committed to developing a plan to expand LIRR service to Belmont Park Station for events year-round. The plan by NYAP remains subject to contractual negotiations, ESD Board of Director review, Franchise Oversight Board review, and all public approval requirements. 
The Islanders have been a force in the NHL since their opening season in 1972 and are one of only three teams to win four or more consecutive Stanley Cups (1980-1983). The 18,000-seat arena will feature the best in operational systems like ice management, quality spectator sightlines, and generous team facilities. The mixed-use facility will be constructed with the expectation of hosting other major events, including concerts, college sports, conferences, family events and programming year-round.
The redevelopment of Belmont Park builds on the Governor's historic $6.6 billion transformation of the Long Island Rail Road. Under this transformative plan, 100 LIRR capital projects are moving forward, including the Main Line Third Track, Double Track, Jamaica Station Reconstruction, 39 renovated Long Island Rail Road stations and grade crossing eliminations strengthening the region's transportation infrastructure, and ushering in a new era of economic growth in Long Island.

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