One small step for man, one bigger step for the New York Islanders.
Or shall we say giant step.
Ten months after they first broke ground on their soon-to-be future home, the Isles franchise now has the name for their palace.
The team announced yesterday that the Swiss-based investment bank had secured a 20-year deal for naming rights to its new arena adjacent to Belmont Park, which is slated to open for the 2021-22 NHL season. And with that, another step into this team’s bright future was taken once again.
“We are excited to announce this long-term partnership with the New York Islanders and are proud to play a role in creating one of the country’s premier sports and entertainment venues,” said Tom Naratil, Co-President UBS Global Wealth Management and President UBS Americas.
Some may not realize just how crucial a partnership with a company like UBS will do for the long-term future of the organization. So let’s have Isles co-owner Jon Ledecky enlighten you all.
What it does for us as a team, it takes the discussion away of agents telling their players, ‘Hey you don’t want to go play on “Long Island because the Nassau Coliseum is a dump. And there isn’t a state-of-the-art practice facility,’ which we also have now,” Ledecky told Jared Schwartz of the New York Post. “So, we’ve taken all those discussion points that were sort of burdening the Islanders fans. We’ve taken all that away. And now that focus should be on trying to win that fifth Cup.”
Can someone inject that quote into Isles fans’ veins?
But seriously, seeing the progress the franchise has taken should have the fanbase jacked up and feeling giddy about their beloved team again. Then again, Islander fans shouldn’t feel like this is a dream anymore.
When Ledecky and Scott Malkin took over full control of the franchise four years ago from the late Charles Wang, they promised first class in everything they did. And that’s exactly what’s continued to happen.
“This is just another major piece of the foundation of the Islanders, of the arena at Belmont, and Long Island and the whole New York metropolitan area moving forward,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said during a virtual press conference after the news broke yesterday.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have the Islanders, this arena and the NHL associated with UBS. For Islanders fans, this is just another indication that while it’s been a long and winding road, the best is yet to come.”
The good news has just continued to roll through for the organization recently, the arena naming being the latest development. Just last week saw d-man Adam Pelech return to the ice to begin Phase 3 training camp, the signing of goalie prospect Ilya Sorokin after a six-year wait, and a new member added to the Isles family with the birth of Matt Martin and wife Sydney’s first child, Windsor.
Who knows if maybe there will be some more a few months from now? The Islanders do begin their chase for the Stanley Cup next week and winning it all would be the icing on the cake for what has been a dynamite summer thus far.
Hey, people can dream right. Not many in their lifetime thought they’d see the day a state-of-the-art building would be constructed and it would be for the Islanders or that same venue would be recognized with such an iconic brand as UBS. Yet here we are.
“From the barn to the bank”. That’s how Jon Ledecky put it yesterday when concluding how excited he is for the Islanders’ future.
What’s that mean?
Another giant step forward for the organization which is only continuing to go onward and upward.