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Islanders expect Belmont arena will be topped off by end of summer

Construction continues on the Belmont Arena on the

Construction continues on the Belmont Arena on the grounds of the Belmont Racetrack in Elmont, Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Credit: Newsday

The Islanders expect to be raising the roof by the end of the summer.

Construction continues at the team’s new arena at Belmont Park and Richard Browne, the managing director of Sterling Project Development, said in an interview the Islanders posted on the team’s website on Wednesday that he expects the steel work to be “topped off” by the end of the summer.

Browne expressed optimism the arena will meet its target date of October, 2021.

Also on Wednesday, New York Arena Partners named Tom Pistore president of commercial operations and Hank Abate president of arena operations to lead the Belmont Park arena executive team. They are, in effect, the replacement for former Islanders president of business operations Travis Williams, who was spearheading the arena project but left the organization in October to run the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“We should be topped off – meaning the last piece of structural steel for the venue will be up toward the end of the summer,” said Browne, describing himself as a “development manager” for the project. “We will be enclosing the building with architectural precast and it’s being manufactured as we speak.

“By the end of the year, you should see an enclosed building,” Browne added. “On the inside, there will literally be well over 1,000 men and women working around the clock on the interiors to build out that space and have it ready for the 2021-22 season.”

Construction resumed May 27 on the Belmont Park arena after a two-month halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

“It’ll be a tremendous victory for us to complete this job on time and we are certainly determined to do that and believe we can,” Browne said.

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