Isles fans fired up as Belmont arena becomes a reality
Monday marked an important step in ending the Islanders' lengthy search for their own arena, and fans are already celebrating.
Crowds of Isles fans witnessed the beginning of construction at their soon-to-be new home in Elmont. It has been decades in the making for some longtime fans.
"It's a long time coming and it's well overdue. Over 30 years trying to get a new arena, different situations, different owners and it's finally here, it's unbelievable," says Will Forthman of Farmingdale.
Some fans in the immediate area of the arena are also excited to see how it'll shape the community.
"I've been a lifelong resident of Floral Park and the Elmont area, and we're excited that they're coming to this area, and much-needed development and we're excited the Islanders are back where they belong," says Philip Marchello.
And when the puck drops, players and coaches say they can't wait for fans to pack the arena.
"Islanders fans are very passionate, it doesn't surprise me to see the turnout we had here today," says Islanders center Brock Nelson. "It means a lot for us players to have that support throughout the year."
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says excitement around the team has led to twice as many season ticket holders for the Isles as they had this time last year.