Work could resume on a new New York Islanders arena, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to allow construction on large projects resume as part of his plan to reopen the New York State economy.
The New York Islanders announced on March 27th that construction of their new arena at Belmont Park, scheduled to open for the 2021-2022 season, had been suspended, indefinitely. New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced earlier in the day that all “non-essential construction work would be stopped,” with focus shifting to building four new hospitals in the New York City area, to be prioritized instead.
“The governor has given some indication that selective construction will start up again in some time frame. So we’re ready to go again,” Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky told ESPN. “We’re working with the contractors. Obviously, the most important thing is that you adhere to social distancing and you make sure the people on site are taking care of themselves. It’s an open-air site, still, so we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to start the construction again when it’s appropriate.”
The story has been different in Seattle, Washington, where construction for the new Seattle Center has never stopped. The arena is scheduled to be ready for opening night for the Seattle NHL expansion team in the fall of 2021. There has been a shutdown of residential construction in Washington State, but essential construction continues at the Seattle Center arena set to host an expansion NHL hockey team for the 2021-2022 season.
The Seattle NHL organization released a statement on March 26th, announcing that construction would continue at Seattle Center:
“Following Gov. Inslee’s additional guidance regarding the impact of his March 23 “Stay Home, Stay Healthy’” proclamation as it relates to construction, and, following conversations with Mayor Durkan’s office, work will continue on the New Arena at Seattle Center construction site. The general contractor, Mortenson, has been diligent in implementing CDC-recommended health and safety procedures to date and will suspend work on-site Thursday and Friday to take additional measures. The measures include a full clean of the site, future work planning and the creation of an additional site entrance. Work will resume on Monday, March 30. At the construction site of our team headquarters and community facility, Northgate Ice Centre, BN Builders and all project partners have stood down from construction activity in line with Gov. Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation. We thank the project leadership team and all of the craft workers on site for their dedication during this unprecedented time. We look forward to resuming work when advised to do so. Team members will continue to work on project-related planning from remote locations.”
By Jon Sorensen