Construction on the New York Islanders’ new arena at Belmont Park has been put on hold after New York state governor Andrew Cuomo expanded his temporary shutdown of non-essential projects due to concerns surrounding the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The National Hockey League team is expected to move to the facility in Elmont in the 2021-22 NHL season. The 19,000-seat arena is part of the $1.3bn Belmont Redevelopment Project, which broke ground last September.
Cuomo’s executive order gave no specific timeframe for the resumption of construction.
“We support Governor Cuomo’s efforts to eliminate the Covid-19 virus,” Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a statement. “He has been the driving force behind the construction of Belmont Park Arena. The progress that has been made since the groundbreaking is truly incredible and is a credit to all of the construction workers that have been there every day. Those workers are all a part of our community and we want them safe and healthy.”
Earlier this month, it was announced that the Islanders will play all of its home games at its prior full-time home venue, the Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum in Long Island in the 2020-21 season.
The return to Long Island, which comes a year ahead of schedule, comes after New York State invested $6m to bring the Coliseum up to minimum NHL standards.