$1 billion in New York is giving Islander fans a true state-of-the-art arena to call home. Less than a year away from completion, the project will end a hunt for a new facility more than two decades after the search began.
The Islanders will shoot north to south in the first and third periods, or more easily seen as from the racetrack to Hempstead Turnpike. The benches will be on the east side of the arena with the penalty boxes on the west side, closest to the Cross Island Parkway. The Zamboni gate on the rink is in the same location as Nassau Coliseum, in the corner to the right of the penalty boxes.
Unlike Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders and their opponents at UBS Arena will have their dressing room tunnels lead directly to the bench, not at either end of the rink.
Entering UBS ARENA
Walk into UBS Arena at Belmont Park, one may notice the likes of current and former New York landmarks of Ebbets Field, Grand Central Terminal, St. Regis Hotel, and even the famed 115-year old racetrack just yards away. The new arena will mix tradition with luxury and technology. Fans should expect to enter UBS Arena at all four corners of the building.
Those arriving via train will likely use the northwest entrance.
When arriving via Lyft, Uber, or just getting dropped off, they would likely use the southwest entrance.
The southeast entrance will be available for those coming from the hotel or parking facilities built north of Hempstead Turnpike.
Everyone else would use the main entrance in the northeast corner. This entrance leads directly into the Paddock and the underground passageway to the retail village and more parking south of Hempstead Turnpike.
Hockey fans will be able to quickly recognize and make comparisons about the arena to Dallas’ American Airlines Center, Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena, New Jersey’s Prudential Center, New York’s Madison Square Garden, Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena, and Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.
The lower bowl gives fans with premium seats access to the Spotlight Suites, 18 event level suites ranging from $350,000 per season to $600,000. These portals are at ice level, which would remind fans of Madison Square Garden. Behind the benches is the Spotlight Club, an exclusive area that allows fans to see players from both teams take the ice. On the opposite end above the penalty boxes is the Loft Club. At the top of each end of the lower bowl are four bars with views of the ice.
The 1905 Club is on the side where the Islanders shoot twice. Located behind the net, fans in this club are seated in Rows 1-8 of Sections 108-110. The club is a small private space on the event level in the corner beneath sections 106 and 107.
The suite level is divided into two sections, the Belmont Suites, and UBS Club & Boxes.
There are 38 Belmont Suites that can accommodate 16 people each, which can be customized. For a first in a sports suite environment, all seats in each suite will have USB power outlets. Additionally, each seat comes with a side table.
The UBS Club & Boxes is a unique experience, combining a typical stadium loge atmosphere while being in a luxury suite. There are a total of 88 boxes, divided into four individual quads. Fans would essentially have the right to an assigned quad. Instead of fans walking into a private room, they walk into the UBS Club. This is the fifth bar to have a direct view of the ice. The club is on the end that the Islanders shoot twice and the opposite of the concert stage.
The upper bowl of UBS Arena will feel closer than most rinks across the NHL these days. Like Prudential Center in New Jersey, UBS Arena’s upper level is split into two. There are three bars with a view of the ice.
There are 33 sections in the 200s, numbered 201-231. Sections 201 and 226 are split. Instead of Section 229, the Islanders have branded a special Section 329.
The last few rows of Sections 228, 329, and 230 will feature safe standing, a common fixture in European soccer stadiums. Here, you would only be able to stand in these areas while remaining a part of the seating bowl.
There are 26 sections in the 300s, numbered 301-326. Unlike Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Madison Square Garden in New York City, Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, or Bell Centre in Montréal, the 300s do not have any obstructions from an overhang due to suites or a press box. Fans will be closer to the action than most buildings in hockey. The entire upper level of UBS Arena has fewer rows than Nassau Coliseum.
The Tailgate Bar should remind fans of Prudential Center in New Jersey or T-Mobile Arena in Vegas. The Tailgate Bar is open to all ticketed fans. This area will be used as a stage platform, where Organist Paul Cartier will be. The central piece of the upper bowl, this will be the largest bar in UBS Arena. Directly above the Tailgate Bar is a mural.
The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed for UBS Arena to think outside the box. As society moves deeper into the 21st century, fans will adapt to greater uses of technology. Just by using an app, one can experience Amazon GO technology for grab-n-go concessions. For example, a fan would input their credit or debit card info into the appropriate app. When they approach the turnstile, the fan will scan a barcode on the app, while sensors will recognize who this fan is. Fans will be able to grab whatever they need and walk out without having to checkout with a cashier. Their card will be charged when they leave. This should lead to shorter lines at concession stands.
Fans will be excited to know that UBS Arena will have more restrooms than anywhere else in the market. Gone will be waiting for an entire intermission, even before overtime in the playoffs, to use the restroom. Now, the goal is to get fans in and out within less than five minutes, and in many cases, during a 120-second TV timeout.
Outdoor terraces are available for fans to socialize and grab a drink. These will be open year-round, protecting from the elements.
UBS Arena will have LED lighting, providing higher ice quality. The Islanders will add the 3D projection systems that most teams have already purchased for pregame shows. The rafters will not have a catwalk. Identical to Little Caesars Arena, this allows for better concert rigging capabilities than any building in the world. These panels will have color-changing LED lights beneath. That allows for some cool lighting effects.
The Islanders will have the largest scoreboard in the National Hockey League. The scoreboard will be capable of displaying replays in 4K. Fans seated down low will notice a video board inside the scoreboard.
UBS Arena is the first arena in New York made for music and built for hockey.