NHL: Islanders to submit bid for Belmont hockey arena

ELMONT -

The New York Islanders plan to submit a bid to the state to build a new hockey arena at Belmont Racetrack, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told The Associated Press Friday.

It was the first public confirmation of the team's stadium strategy.

Bettman said the Islanders are "reviewing their options" and also mentioned the land next to Citi Field in Willets Point as a potential landing spot for the team. He added that the renovated Nassau Coliseum is "not a long-term option."

The state is preparing to soon issue a request for proposals, or RFP.

An Empire State Development Corporation spokesperson told News 12 in a statement: "Development at Belmont will be an economic boost to the region and all improvements to the site will occur through the normal process. We're working to finalize an RFP for the site, which will be released when it's ready."

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino said he is "enthusiastic" about the team's apparent interest. County Legislator Carrie Solages said he'd like to see the team return to Nassau too, as long as residents are included in the process.

News 12 reached out to Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, who has repeatedly expressed his hope that the Islanders would return to the Coliseum, but a spokesperson declined to comment.

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