Two NY teams compete for development at Belmont Park
- The New York City Football Club (NYCFC) and the New York Islanders hockey team are competing for the right to build a new stadium and arena, respectively, according to the New York Post. Both projects would see associated mixed-use developments on a portion of the Belmont Park horse-racing track in the Long Island town of Elmont, NY.
- NYCFC has proposed building, with Related Companies as the developer, a 26,000-square-foot soccer stadium, a two-acre soccer venue, 20 acres of green space and parks, and 400,000 square feet of entertainment and retail space. The Islanders, who currently play at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, want to construct an 18,000-seat arena and a hotel and retail and entertainment space. Both groups said their plans would create thousands of temporary construction jobs.
- New York's Empire State Development Corp. solicited proposals, according to a September Newsday report, from those interested in building a sports and entertainment complex on the 43-acre site, and should decide whether that will be the Islanders or NYCFC in the coming months.
An NYCFC move away from an urban setting at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx to Belmont Park, which borders Queens, could negatively impact attendance as there are fewer mass transit options for fans, according to according to BisNow. At the time, the club was looking at three other potential stadium sites around New York City as well.
However, soccer lovers are more supporters than fans, according to Len Moser, vice president at Barton Malow Company, so trips to Long Island for regular matches might not be a burden. In addition, supporters from the suburbs might appreciate not having to travel into the city.
Moser told Construction Dive last month that supporters, who bring items like drums, signs and smoke bombs to matches, have influenced the design of soccer-specific stadiums as well. Standing-only sections at one end of the field, or pitch, allow enthusiasts to remain on their feet without blocking the view of those who prefer to remain seated. Barton Malow's Orlando City stadium project, he said, is the first venue in Major League Soccer to include this feature, but he expects other teams to follow suit.
Another soccer-specific element, Moser said, is a more intimate placement of seating made possible by the configuration of the standard soccer pitch, which allows designers to bring fans closer to the action and the teams' benches.
- New York Post Details on Belmont Park revamp plans revealed
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