Ground broken for Islanders’ $1.3 billion arena

ELMONT, N.Y. — Work has begun on a $1.3 billion arena for the New York Islanders hockey team at Belmont Park.

The 19,000-seat arena will also include shops, restaurants and a hotel. Work is expected to be completed in time for the 2021-2022 season.

Until then, the Islanders will play home games at the Nassau Coliseum and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Dignitaries attending a groundbreaking Monday included Gov. Andrew Cuomo and actor and big-time Islanders fan Ralph Macchio.

Cuomo says the project builds on two Long Island traditions: the Islanders and Belmont Park, home of racing's Belmont Stakes.

The arena is being built on state-owned property. As part of the work, developers have agreed to pay to build a new Long Island Rail Road station nearby.

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