Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the New York Islanders breaking ground on their new home at Belmont Park. To say that day was a momentous occasion would be an understatement considering everything the franchise had been through in its quest for a new home.
And considering how the season ended this year, looking back at it you could almost call it an omen for what would be the most significant season the Islanders have had in 27 years.
“Our fans have been wandering for a while,” Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky said a year ago at the groundbreaking ceremony. “They haven’t had the right type of facility and to have this world-class, state of the art, third-generation arena to call home is something they’re worthy of. We’re so happy as stewards of the franchise that we can deliver that to them.”
Since that day the New York Islanders went on a historic run that included a 17-game point streak early in the season and their first trip to the Eastern Conference Finals since 1993.
Really, it all started that September afternoon just hours before the Islanders were scheduled to face the Detroit Red Wings in a preseason game at Nassau Coliseum. Since then construction has proceeded at a rapid pace, even with a pause during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year.
The building is still expected to open in time for the 2021-22 season and jaunt down the Cross Island Parkway is a reminder of just how much progress has been made on the New York Islanders future home.
“Today will go down as one of the great days in the history of the New York Islanders,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “This is the day that assures everybody that has anything to do with the Islanders, who cares anything about the Islanders, who is passionate about the Islanders — as Islander fans are — this is the future of this franchise right here on Long Island.”
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