Construction of the Islanders’ new arena at Belmont Park, halted since March 27 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, should be able to resume on Wednesday as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo continues to follow a phased reopening of the state’s businesses.
“We are now decidedly in the reopening phase,” Cuomo said on Sunday during a press conference at Jones Beach in which he also announced professional sports teams could immediately resume training in the state. “We have to stay smart.”
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran responded via her Twitter account that Cuomo’s decision on allowing training to resume was, “Good news,” then added, “Also: construction at Belmont resumes in Phase 1.”
Cuomo said Long Island remains on track for Phase 1 re-opening on Wednesday.
Construction, along with limited retail sales, manufacturing, wholesale trade and agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting are included as businesses that can re-open in Phase 1.
The work on the Belmont Park arena was deemed non-essential when it was halted.
“We are now down to 460 hospitalizations, 21 less than yesterday,” Curran said in statement released by her office on Sunday. “Along with our falling daily fatality rate, we are on track to meet the New York State metrics for reopening this week. Phase 1 of reopening will put us on the road to recovery by allowing us to restart low-risk industries such as construction and curb-side retail – and help us boost our local economy.”
The Islanders hope to open their new arena in October, 2021, and team officials have expressed confidence through the construction delay that the target date will not be affected.
The building will seat 17,113 for hockey and is the focal point of a $1.3 billion project that also includes a 250-room hotel and 350,000 square feet of retail. New York Arena Partners, a joint venture between Islanders principal owner Scott Malkin, Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke, is privately funding the project.