The New York Islanders are nearing the 10,000 season-ticket mark and have only 20 percent of inventory remaining at the new UBS Arena at Belmont Park, which is slated to open for the 2021-22 National Hockey League season, the club said Monday.
The Islanders last week set an all-time record for season-ticket sales, prompted in part by fan excitement as the team swept the Washington Capitals in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs played within the Toronto bubble.
The Islanders face the rival Philadelphia Flyers in the second round, with Game 1 Monday at the Scotiabank Arena.
“As the team heads into the second round of the playoffs, the unprecedented demand for season tickets adds a new level of excitement about the team,” Islanders Co-Owner Jon Ledecky said. “The support from our loyal Islanders fans across the metro New York region has been tremendous.”
The nearly 19,000-seat arena is projected to cost $955 million and is the linchpin of the mixed-use development that will include retail components on 43 acres owned by the state of New York adjacent to the famous horse racing track..
New York Arena Partners is comprised of the owners of the Islanders, New York Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, and Oak View Group, a Los Angeles-based arena development firm that is concurrently overseeing the $900 million arena renovation in Seattle where the NHL is planning to expand, also in time for the 2021-22 season.
Where the Islanders will play next season is unclear after June’s announcement that the Nassau Coliseum is closing, though a lifeline may be in the works. The hockey club had split its schedule this past season between their historic home and Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Islanders were anticipating playing their 41-game home schedule at the Coliseum, which was closed by billionaire and former Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov because of financial considerations related to the ongoing coronavirus. But Newsday reported last week that the County has come to terms with a new arena operator, allowing the Islanders to play one last season at the Coliseum.
Splitting the home games between those two venues, the Islanders drew a last-in-the-NHL 448,369 for 35 dates. Their average of 12,810 per game was 29th in the league, ahead of only the Ottawa Senators.
That’s evidently going to change.
“We are thrilled to see this strong response to UBS Arena at Belmont Park, which will be the state-of-the-art sports and music venue in the market,” said Tim Leiweke, chief executive of Oak View Group.