There has been some uncertainty as to when Empire State Development will issue its decision on the land, but it appears that officials are poised to make an announcement on Wednesday.
Barclays Center is not bad and the Islanders are a great home team, but, the arena is not great for hockey and does not have the same ambiance or ice conditions as the Nassau Coliseum, the Isles' previous home.
The state of NY has selected a bid by the National Hockey League franchise Islanders to build an 18,000-seat arena on a 43-acre site at Belmont Park. In July, the agency announced another request for proposal process for the site, saying a successful bidder will have to show its plans will "maximize" economic benefits to the state, create "premier destinations" for entertainment, retail and sports "with uses that are complementary to the existing Belmont Park racetrack".
It will also have 10,000 square feet for an "innovation center" designed based on what fans want. The Islanders moved out of their previous home, the Nassau County Veterans Coliseum, in 2015, and now play in Brooklyn's Barclay's Center.
The Islanders beat out New York City FC of the MLS for the right build a new home on Long Island. That plan also includes 435,000 square feet of retail and dining space as well as a 200- to 250-room hotel.
The next step for the team is opting out of their 25-year lease with the Barclays Center. Islanders players all live on Long Island, and the team invested millions of dollars in a new practice facility at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, near their former home rink.
The Islanders have been seeking an alternative to the Barclays Center, which became the team's home in the 2015-16 season. The winning Belmont bid gives the Islanders a new home and some much-needed clarity about their future - a necessity in their contract negotiations with superstar John Tavares, who will be a free agent next summer.
The arena likely would not be finished by the start of the 2019-20 season as the Islanders and Oak View Group - the development company that has gone in on this bid with the Islanders - would not break ground.