Long Island to get new 17,500-seat arena

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Suffolk County in New York State has revealed details of a new US$1bn stadium to be built in a bid to attract a professional sports team to the county.

The new arena will be the centerpiece of the development of a 40-acre parcel of land between MacArthur Airport and the Ronkonkoma train station.

Four proposals were submitted to Suffolk County. A committee overseeing a request for qualifications to develop the Ronkonkoma site selected a bid from Chicago real estate developer Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) and investment banker Ray Bartoszek.

The planned sports and entertainment venue, which will be financed by JLL and Bartoszek, will be comparable in size to a new 19,000-seat arena the New York Islanders ice hockey team is preparing to build about 40 miles (64km) west, at Belmont Park.

The JLL group’s design is for a mixed-used project featuring the arena, a 500-room hotel and two community ice rinks, alongside 45,200ft² (4,200m²) of office space adjacent to the arena and exclusively for the use of the facility’s professional sports team; 200,000ft² (18,580m²) of commercial office space; 160,000ft² (14,865m²) of medical research space; and 90,000ft² (8,360m²) of retail and dining.

The proposal cites the location’s proximity to the Long Island Rail Road, MacArthur Airport and the Long Island Expressway as reasons why such a large-scale arena development project could succeed there.

However, DuWayne Gregory, the Suffolk legislature’s presiding officer, told local media that he has questions about traffic that would be generated, as well as the development’s economic benefit and costs for the county. He also called for details of how the winning proposal was selected. The arena plan requires the Suffolk legislature’s approval before proceeding to an environmental review.

April 18, 2018

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James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at magazines and websites around the world for the past 10 years covering everything from technology to motoring and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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