New York Islanders Unveil $7 Million Practice Facility Renovation

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New York Islanders co-owner John Ledecky has made good on a part of his promise to make the Islanders a “world-class” organization. The Islanders have submitted the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Belmont Park build to New York State, little more than a month ago. There is no timetable for that bid approval process. It is known the process could take years to complete. Meanwhile, Islanders ownership has been busy working on a venue that they control. They unveiled a completely revamped Northwell Health Ice Center, in East Meadow, Long Island. The $7 million renovation is so extensive it has led members of the Islanders to refer to it as a new facility.

New York Islanders Unveil $7 Million Practice Facility Renovation

The Islanders owner Ledecky spent the $7 million to renovate their practice facility to make it on par to every practice facility in the league. The renovation includes an onsite cryo-chamber and underwater treadmills for player rehabilitation. They also added high-end comforts for players and coaches. This includes hiring a world-class chef for meal planning and preparation. The goal is to provide the team with everything that they need onsite. The secondary goal is to make Long Island an attractive place to play.

The renovation of Northwell Ice Center also shows that the Islanders are serious in their bid for Belmont Park. In an interview with the New York Post said of the project and the Belmont Park plan., “there is no Plan-B.” He went on to say ” The way that [the practice facility] came together in such a fashion is emblematic of what we can do if we were granted the right [to build] at Belmont” During the New York Post interview he concluded by saying “We would do it right, we would do it timely, and the team would have a permanent home. That’s the most important thing.”

Still No Arena Deal For The Islanders

The Islanders have no deal with Barclays to playing after the 2018-19 season. The Islanders continue to have good faith negotiations with Barclays Center regarding their 25-year contract. Both sides are eager to find a long-term deal. The current deal would leave them looking for an arena after that season.

The Need To Sign John Tavares

The Islanders also have to sign current captain Tavares. His signing is the top priority for the Islanders. Tavares gave ownership his blessings to figure out the arena deal, prior to his signing. The rebuild of the practice facility is one more step in making the Islanders a better organization to sign with. Tavares is off to a great start, with nine points in five games, in the last year of his contract. His two hat tricks over a three-game span powered Islanders to wins and marked only the third time an Islander had accomplished that feat. The others being Pat LaFontaine and Ziggy Palffy. The Islanders are currently 7-4-1 with a game against the Washington Capitals on Thursday.

The signing of Tavares is integral to the future of the Islanders and making them a successful NHL franchise. The revamp of Northwell is a step toward making that a reality and getting Tavares to sign, but is it too little, too late? Time will tell, but the Islanders ownership is certainly making their intentions clear.

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