Welcome To UBS Arena: Eight Awesome Innovations At The Islanders’ New Barn

The wait is finally over for New York Islanders and their fans.

After starting the season with 13 consecutive games on the road, the Islanders (5-6-2) hit the mark in their first game at the new UBS Arena in Elmont, New York. They host the Calgary Flames on Saturday, November 20, when the $1.1 billion state-of-the-art building opens its doors to hockey fans.

“I know we’ve been looking forward to this for a long time and I know the fans have too. I’m glad people come in here to watch a game and really enjoy this together,” said captain Anders Lee.

UBS Arena is designed to hold approximately 17,250 fans for NHL games. Many of them will walk in with skepticism – after all, it replaces the Nassau Arena as the team’s home ground, an old hockey warehouse that fans treat with reverence. . But the new home for the Islanders has a lot going for it. Here are eight unique UBS Arena enhancements and features:

Belmont . Park Influence

In homage to the good people at UBS, “the arena in Belmont Park” has been shorthand for the Islanders’ new warehouse for years, as New York’s iconic race track hosts the rally. The annual Triple Crown race is located right next to the new facility. Islanders have incorporated the Belmont look into the arena’s design, as its red bricks and arched windows provide a view at the racecourse. There is also an outdoor bar terrace overlooking the lawn area at the track.

“Everything you see at UBS Arena is designed to match the historic façade of Belmont Park,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group, which oversaw the construction of the arena. “[NHL commissioner] Gary Bettman’s favorite dream was to have a Stanley Cup game in the afternoon, and then there would be Belmont Stakes later. ”


One endearing quality of the Nassau Coliseum is how close people are to the action, and the way the game’s audio is never lost since it’s not a cave building. In an attempt to recreate that at UBS Arena, Islanders hung the roof just 3 feet above the roof in Nassau to block out the noise. The tallest deck in the arena has only nine rows, and the “upper deck” is officially split in two to appear smaller.

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“We don’t have giant upper bowls, so we don’t have huge ceilings. So the noise is not lost in the roof, which is important,” says Leiweke.

Fan group wall

One aspect of the Islanders fandom that doesn’t get much attention: Those supporters spread beyond Long Island. The Fan Meet for the team has chapters in different places like Raleigh, Las Vegas, UK and Brazil.

They now have a spot inside the UBS Arena. The Islanders worked with Isles Meetups to put the logos of these fan groups on the wall above the Tailgate bar. The team worked with the fan organization to secure the logos for each fan group, in a partnership that spanned several seasons.

Designed by Lou

While the arena was built with the fans in mind, Islanders president of hockey operations Lou Lamoriello also helped design aspects of the new warehouse. He’s the driving force behind making the Islanders’ locker room look like their gym. He helped guide efforts on the ice quality and airflow of the arena. He also suggested improving areas of the arena designated for the player’s partner and children.


UBS Arena knows its audience. Fans on the island will have up to 10 different bars to indulge in in the building, from high-end venues for premium ticket holders to a 100-foot “back gate bar” where fans graves can exchange.

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One spot in the arena worth noting: Offside Tavern, an Island bar in Manhattan that closed due to the COVID pandemic, is being revived as one of the bars inside the UBS Arena, complete with a view out ice.

“It is indescribable. To be recognized as part of the culture, to be in the building with them, is crazy,” said owner Nick Costa.


It won’t be completely ready when the building opens, but UBS Arena will have a few improvements to make it easier for Islanders fans to get in and out of the game. Islanders contributed more than $50 million to the cost of the first new Long Island Railroad station in nearly 50 years. The east side of the new LIRR terminal in Elmont will be open to the station, but full service will begin next summer when the westbound platform opens. The team predicts 20-30% of fans will come to see the matches by rail.

The arena’s garage is slated to stay open until next March, but it will be one of the first entertainment venues to offer license plate recognition technology in the on-site garage. Fans pull up a ticket and can then pay via a QR code to get through the lines at pay stations on their way out.

People who live on the island”

UBS Arena has partnered with New York State’s Taste NY initiative to source 75% of food ingredients from a 300-mile radius. Like other arenas, it has a lot of local vendors selling food inside the building.

Unlike other arenas, UBS will feature “The Islander”. It’s the kind of food that fills your stomach just as you describe it: a collaboration between Blue Line Deli & Bagels and Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Chicken Shaq, featuring Buffalo chicken sandwiches with cream cheese and bleu cheese, prepared served on their iconic blue and orange bagels.

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It might weigh more than a Ryan Pulock slap, and it certainly looks unique.

Finally, and specifically the restroom

It’s the little things that matter when you’re attending a sporting event – especially one that doesn’t offer any respite from the action to take care of some important, out-of-time work. between time periods. UBS Arena will have 68 guest-facing restrooms across the arena, 12 of which will be for families. UBS Arena will also have “the largest number of women’s restrooms of all the NHL locations,” according to the team, which is certainly great news for those of you who’ve been in the line. it during the break.

Most importantly, the bathrooms must be able to handle fan power: Islanders have engaged staff to coordinate flushing around the building to ensure that the pipes can handle the flow.

The building is ready. The fans are ready. And the people on the island are very excited.

“All the facilities and the rink are very high end. I can’t even tell you how cool it is here. We are a lucky group,” center Mathew Barzal said after his first practice session at the rink on Thursday.

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