Companies hope to score an advantage from their debut at UBS Arena

You didn’t have to attend the recent opening of the UBS Arena in Elmont to know it was a big deal. The Empire State Building, Pier 17 at The Seaport, and the Nassau County seat of government were all lit up in blue and orange in the Islanders and Nassau County on November 20. Key players – not on the Islanders, in this case – in the project were expected to ring the morning bell on the New York Stock Exchange just over a week later.

The opening of UBS Arena, which hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on November 19, a day before the Islanders’ first game, is part of a celebration where the venue, not just the Islanders or the performers, is the star. The arena built in Belmont Park on the border of Queens and Nassau is a major development in terms of entertainment and could have a significant economic impact.

“The new UBS arena keeps the Islanders here, contributes to Long Island’s sports economy and will have a billion-dollar multiplier impact over the life of the developer’s lease,” said Matthew Cohen, CEO of Long Island. Association.

Local business groups see opening up on New York State-owned land as a victory for the community, attracting new businesses and benefiting those in the area.

“This development will bring a steady stream of income locally and statewide,” said Julie Marchesella, President of the Elmont Chamber of Commerce. “Islanders as well as arena partners in the construction process have already used several delicatessens, restaurants, printers and other commercial services to change the economic situation of our community. “

The new home for the New York Islanders, four-time back-to-back Stanley Cup champions, was developed in partnership between Oak View Group, the New York Islanders and Jeff Wilpon. Construction continued despite the pandemic, building facilities that included medical grade air filtration and ultraviolet light systems to help with cleanup.

Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group and head of the arena project, spoke of the “project promise to help invigorate New York’s economy,” among other benefits.

Organizations also hope to harness the arena as a marketing engine. Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling announced a sponsorship deal with the Islanders and UBS Arena, saying his system is “proud to align with New York’s newest premier sports and entertainment site. York “.

The arena, in an area where the divide between Nassau and New York exceeds an area code, is building a new large bridge between Nassau and the Big Apple. The structure is located in Nassau, a stone’s throw from Queens, but with sections of the parking lot in Queens.

“You don’t even know if you’re in Queens or Nassau,” said Thomas Grech, CEO of the Queens Chamber of Commerce. “There is literally no line between Nassau and Queens. In this area, it is fungible.

Marchesella said the arena achieves a vision the community first described years ago for a sports / entertainment venue.

“Elmont’s vision plan, written almost 15 years ago, is now coming to fruition,” she said. “It was Elmont’s vision. Other things have been added, such as a hotel and shops. From a regional point of view, it had to be economically viable.

The $ 1.5 billion arena and surrounding redevelopment, according to the developers, is expected to generate $ 25 billion in economic activity, including infrastructure improvements such as the renovation of the nearby Belmont Park Long train station. Island. The development is expected to include 315,000 square feet of retail and a 250-room boutique hotel as well as the 23,000-square-foot Islanders locker and team training center.

While some fear the UBS Arena could rival the islands’ longtime home, the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, the developers see the venue as a godsend in an area large enough for both. Organizers say the arena, which can accommodate up to 19,000 for concerts and 17,250 for NHL hockey games, is expected to host more than 150 major events per year.

“Before and after games, events and concerts we want people to come stay, eat, drink and have fun in Queens,” said Grech. “There are a lot of restaurants just around the edge of the parking lot and arena.”

The Islanders debuted at their new home on November 20, playing the Calgary Flames, followed by Grammy Award winner Harry Styles, set to perform on November 28. WWE was on the schedule for November 29 as part of WWE Monday Night RAW.

But some hockey fans who are hoping to see the Islanders play a game at UBS may need to watch them on TV. At the time of going to press, the sequels were gone and there were very few game tickets left.

“The sale of season tickets is a real testament to this loyal fan base,” said Leiweke.

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