Skip to main content

Featured Post

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

Nassau County executive claims "concerns answered" re Belmont, omits issue of payment for rail expansion; Barclays a hindrance for isles?

Apparently the initial headline was tweaked from "with concerns answered" to Curran: some concerns answered; I say yes to Belmont, because, as noted in my tweet, one of the largest concerns remains very much unanswered. (Emphases added)

Wrote Curran:
The new Belmont Arena represents an influx of over a billion of dollars into our economy, which will create over 10,000 construction and permanent jobs at the new arena – not just for hockey, but also other entertainment and retail. That means new jobs for our residents, which will buoy the communities around the new complex for years to come. The project will turn an under-utilized state park into a major generator of tax dollars, which can be used to support our schools and first responders, and fund key priorities like road repairs.
New jobs and tax dollars are good – but they are just part of the overall picture. One of my key priorities as County Executive has been to promote transit-oriented development in Nassau County.
Last month, Newsday reported that Empire State Development – the state agency overseeing the project – is formally studying a full-time, mainline LIRR station at Belmont. A full-time station would help alleviate traffic concerns at the arena. It would provide a direct public transit route to games and concerts for Long Islanders who live east of Belmont. We must now turn analysis into action and go from a study to a station.
Belmont, like the promising HUB development will be an economic engine, creating good-paying jobs and exciting new destinations for our residents and visitors alike.
Hm, where have we heard those economic promises before?

Beyond the issue of a significant expenditure for railroad service--perhaps shared between the developer and taxpayers, but keep watch--let's not forget the cheap lease for the developers of the new arena and the likely significant damage it would do to the county-owned Nassau Coliseum.

The railroad deal

Wrote Curran:

Both Belmont and the HUB are vital to our goal of making Nassau County a vibrant place to live, work and play – and to growing our tax base. Long Island missed an incredible opportunity with the Amazon deal, which would have provided good-paying jobs to our residents, attracted young people, and brought in tax revenue. 
Let’s make sure we can be the “Land of Yes,” which is surely fitting for us Islanders fans. Let’s say “yes” to jobs, “yes” to economic opportunity, and “yes” to creating a Long Island that will thrive in the future. Securing a prosperous future means embracing change and reinventing our suburban model. 
There are still details to be worked on, and I will continue to work with Empire State Development, the Islanders and their partners, and the MTA to make this station and the Belmont Arena a reality. 
Let’s go Islanders!
Oh, "[t]here are still details to be worked on." That's for sure.

The Islanders stall out; Barclays a hindrance?

After sweeping their first-round playoff series, the Islanders lost the second round in four games, including two at Barclays Center.

Newsday 5/2/19 quoted ex-Islander Calvin de Haan, on the winning Carolina Hurricanes, as suggesting the National Hockey League's decision to move second-round home games to Barclays--after allowing the first round at the smaller Nassau Coliseum, which contains fewer seats but is closer to fervent fans--helped the opponents:
“It’s great for us,” de Haan said on Thursday after practice. “It’s good for the away team. It kind of negates the home-ice advantage to a certain extent. I’ve played there [the Coliseum] and it’s loud and you do feed off of that. Whether you think of it or not, you do feed off the momentum of the crowd and it seemed to elevate everybody on the bench. But it is what it is. That’s Mr. Bettman’s decision, so, whatever.”
What about next year?

Among the five questions for the Islanders' off-season, wrote Newsday's Andrew Gross 5/4/19:
5. Will the Islanders still have two homes?
The current plan calls for the Islanders to again split their home games between Barclays Center and NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum after they went 12-6-2 in Brooklyn and 12-7-2 in Uniondale. But the playoffs showed the difference between the buildings. The crowd for the two playoff games against the Penguins at the Coliseum – both wins – was crazed, and former Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan said the Hurricanes caught a break playing at Barclays, where the Islanders lost twice. Until the Islanders’ arena situation is finalized, it is a distraction to the organization.
BSE Global, which operates both arenas, surely wants more games at Nassau Coliseum, given the losses hosting Isles games in Brooklyn. But the league doesn't consider it a major league arena. Indeed, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Newsday reported 5/3/19, said, "he’s 'anticipating' the Islanders will once again split their regular-season games."

When might Belmont start?

Bettman also said he expected a Belmont arena groundbreaking "in the next few months," expanding it to "May, June, July" after earlier this year saying May or June. Empire State Development, the state authority overseeing and approving the process--as with Barclays and Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park--is expected to issue approvals in June.

Then again, he's a hockey commissioner, not an expert in New York development. Newsday editorial board member Randi Marshall thinks it could take until fall, which makes sense, because things often take way longer than "anticipated."



Comments