A decision appears imminent regarding the future development at Belmont Park. The Islanders and New York City Football Club of Major League Soccer submitted bids in September to build sports and entertainment destinations on the state land at the famed horse racing track.
Now it appears the State of New York is closing in on a decision, with an announcement expected this week, according to Newsday. The report comes after the paper published a story by Arthur Staple on Sunday that NHL sources were indicating that an announcement on Belmont could be coming before the end of the year.
The announcement is expected to come on Wednesday at 11 a.m. according to Newsday’s Robert Brodsky.
During a public hearing on December 10, the Islanders revealed specifics of their plan, including an 18,000-seat arena, retail and entertainment district and community space. A 200 to 250-room hotel was also included in the proposal submitted by the team and its development partners.
NYCFC proposed a 26,000-seat soccer stadium as well as retail space, a park and a soccer facility. The MLS club’s bid is one of several locations that they have been looking to build a stadium at.
Both proposals call for significant upgrades to the existing Long Island Rail Station and call for it to be turned into a year-round stop. The train station is only currently used during the Belmont Stakes in June.
The Empire State Development Corporation, which is state agency handling the Belmont request for proposal, did not give a timeline for its decision. However, speculation has led many to believe that the Islanders proposal was the front-runner.
That increased when a report from Horse Racing Insider.com indicated that the state was getting closer to naming the Islanders’ bid the winner.