ELMONT, NY (CBSNew York) – As the New York Islanders continue their journey into the Stanley Cup playoffs, their new home is almost ready.
The UBS Arena in Belmont Park is slated to open around Thanksgiving and will also be a world-class home for sports, concerts and festivals.
CBS2’s Lisa Rozner got an exclusive look inside on Wednesday.
Finishes are made to the facade of the arena.
“We had to custom design the brick,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group.
And arches, a mirror image of the historic Belmont Park racecourse. This is the last step in protecting the billion dollar building from the rain.
“So these last arcades is the highest priority,” said Leiweke.
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Eight hundred workers are on site daily, and this number will double in the coming months.
When completed, most guests will enter through the large atrium, with steps and escalators leading to all levels.
“It’s also designed as the old Grand Central station, so when you walk in here, you’ll feel like you’re back in 1920,” Leiweke said.
Artist renderings will pay homage to the area’s history, from horse racing to aviation, and there are three different balconies with alfresco dining.
“You’re going to be able to sit here and watch the race on Belmont Stakes day,” said Leiweke.
And inside the nearly 18,000-seat hockey arena, the scoreboard is about to go up. He will be able to screen films on the ice.
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You can get an idea of what the arena will look like. The seats have already been installed in the upper levels and in the lower bowl, the area closest to the floor. It will be one of the largest in the metropolitan area.
One section of the lower bowl is retractable, and this will be the concert stage.
“We can have 4,000 people standing on the floor for a concert,” said Leiweke. “Here, we have built a whole complex reserved for musical artists. An artist comes out of his green room, takes five steps, five and they come on stage. “
The arena is equipped with the largest loading dock east of the Mississippi.
“A total of sixteen semi-trailer trucks can park here,” said Leiweke.
And upon exiting the pandemic, four massive air circulation systems were installed.
“We have 80% more airflow in this building than the Nassau Coliseum,” said Leiweke.
The locker room is more than twice the size of one in an average arena.
“It’s like a group of fans who, for 30 years, have wandered the desert without a home. They ultimately not only have an arena, they technically have the best hockey arena ever built in New York, ”said Leiweke.
Here’s a fun fact: the arena will have more washrooms than any other in the metro area.
Also, going up outside is a hotel and retail business. It is expected to generate $ 100 million in economic activity each year and create at least 800 jobs.