Grammy-award winning artist The Weeknd is the first musical act booked at the new UBS Arena at Belmont Park, with a concert set to go on April 7, 2022, the Arena Group announced Wednesday.
Tickets for the event are slated to go on sale Monday after his headlining performance during Sunday’s Super Bowl, featuring the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium.
The nearly 19,000-seat arena, the future home of the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders, is expected to be open for games next fall in time for the 2021-22 regular season. Projected to cost $955 million in private funds, the building is the linchpin of a mixed-use development project adjacent to the famous horse racing track and will include retail components on 43 acres, owned by the state of New York.
While the Islanders are the anchor attraction—the hockey team will account for a minimum of 41 of the 150 anticipated dates—the building was designed explicitly with concerts in mind.
“The design of our venue is unique from a music perspective,” Tom Pistore, the president of business operations for UBS Arena, said in a recent exclusive telephone interview. “We’re one of the first venues, if not the first venue, that sees music for the promoters and artists as a tenant, and not just as a nightly rental….
“That went into the design that’s going to make it more efficient for promoters and make them more money,” Pistore said. “Putting that together with great hockey, and we’re really excited about the building.”
The Weeknd has won two Grammys for Best Urban Contemporary Album and another for Best R&B Performance. He’s been nominated for six others. His single, “Blinding Light,” has been in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 for 38 consecutive weeks.
A Toronto native, The Weeknd is launching his rescheduled After Hours tour with two shows in Canada, at Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Jan. 14-15, 2022. He’ll then move on to Edmonton and Winnipeg before heading to the U.S.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, it’s not known at this time how many people will be allowed in the arena for any event, although the Islanders are planning for a full season at full 17,000 capacity for hockey in October, based on the NHL’s current projections.
The team is playing this season sans fans at the Nassau Coliseum.
(This story has been updated in the first paragraph to indicate that The Weeknd is the first act booked to play at UBS arena.)