Construction stops at Islanders' new arena

Construction on the New York Islanders' new arena has been halted, and it's too soon to tell whether that will delay the team's plan to play there in the 2021-22 NHL season.

The arena at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., has been under construction since last September.

On Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo expanded his order to temporarily stop construction of non-essential projects because of the coronavirus pandemic, meaning work at the Belmont Park site had to stop.

New York is the nation's hardest-hit state, with more than 52,000 coronavirus cases as of Saturday afternoon. Nassau County, where Elmont is located, has more than 5,500 of them.

"We support Governor Cuomo's efforts to eliminate the COVID-19 virus," Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a statement. "He has been the driving force behind the construction of Belmont Park Arena. The progress that has been made since the groundbreaking is truly incredible and is a credit to all of the construction workers that have been there every day. Those workers are all a part of our community and we want them safe and healthy."

The Islanders played their home games at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale from 1972 to 2015, then moved to Barclays Center in Brooklyn for three seasons beginning in 2015-16. In the 2018 playoffs, they resumed playing at the aging Nassau Coliseum, where they won four consecutive Stanley Cup championships from 1980-83.

They are scheduled to play all games at the Nassau Coliseum in the 2020-21 season and move into the new building in October 2021.

"If construction restarts within a reasonable period, we expect to maintain our schedule and for the arena to be open for the 2021-22 NHL season," Richard Browne, Sterling Project Development Group's managing partner, said in a statement, per the New York Post.

--Field Level Media