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Tom Pistore, Hank Abate to head management team that will run Isles' Belmont Park arena

Construction continues on the new Islanders arena on

Construction continues on the new Islanders arena on the grounds of Belmont Park in Elmont, Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Credit: Newsday

The company that will operate the Islanders’ new arena at Belmont Park has named two longtime sports executives to head its management team.

Tom Pistore will be president of commercial operations and Hank Abate becomes president of arena operations, New York Arena Partners announced. 

NYAP is a joint venture between the Islanders, Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and the arena development company Oak View Group.

Pistore spent 20 years at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Partnership, which owns the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and operates their home Scotiabank Arena.

Abate, who will remain with Oak View Group as president of facilities, previously worked for Madison Square Garden as executive vice president of venue management.

Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke said last week, “This is going to be a world-class venue with a top executive team — Tom and Hank are highly respected throughout the industry and the perfect choices to lead us.”

The Islanders' arena is the centerpiece of New York Arena Partners' $1.3 billion development at Belmont that also includes a 250-room hotel and 350,000 square feet of retail. NYAP said the Islanders' arena remains on track to open in October 2021.

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