There’s been nothing doing on the ice for the New York Islanders for over two weeks now, but off it, there’s been one thing that has provided some normalcy in the lives of fans.
It’s the ongoing construction of their soon-to-be home at Belmont Park.
Amid nearly all businesses — except those deemed essential — in the entire state shutting down due to COVID-19, the construction at Belmont has continued. There were questions raised about whether the work at Belmont would halt when just last week, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo made a rule forbidding the gathering of ten or more people; this came after he ruled that gatherings of 50 and 25 earlier before the virus began to build more steam.
Newsday’s Jim Baumbach, who’s been on top of all the Isles’ arena drama over the past few years, assured the people on the Island Ice Podcast — an Islander-based podcast hosted by his colleague Andrew Gross — that construction wouldn’t be affected unless something dier occurred. He used the word “amazingly“ about how the work on the arena wouldn’t be affected.
Isles fans already know once that building opens in September 2021, it will be amazing. Ever since the organization broke ground back in September, the videos and images coming from the site have brought tons of excitement and hope.
That is why in the reality we are living now, that building still being constructed is a great distraction to help a lot of people get through these trying times.
There’s a Twitter account @NYIBelmontArena, which popped up before the season was postponed, and it has continued to post an updated image every day with a nice caption. There’s the webcam on the Isles’ team website where you can spend hours watching a live feed of the construction going on. I’ll admit since the day games were stopped, I’ve gone to that webcam at least two or three times a week.
But that’s the great thing about the building still having work done — it’s a glimpse that better times are coming.
No one can predict whether this season will resume or if we’ve seen the last of Hockey until the fall, but for Islander fans, they can take satisfaction in knowing the franchise’s future digs won’t be too far from finished.
There are a lot of things that can’t divert people right now, but the construction at Belmont is one. It’s a much-needed one too.
And it’s something to keep your mind occupied until life gets back to normal.
You can check out the live feed of the construction below: