By Lauren DiGregorio
On November 20, 2021, the new UBS Center, located next to Belmont Racetrack, officially opened its doors to the public and the crowd went wild. This new state of the art, $1.1 billion arena is already booming with foot traffic and has brought a new spotlight to businesses, teams, concerts and more.
The main attraction at the UBS Center is the New York Islanders hockey team. The Islanders have been without a true ice rink to call home for years. Their original and most well-known home, Nassau Coliseum, also referred to as “The Old Barn,” was outdated and the Barclays Center, their most recent home, was not built to be a hockey arena. Deemed “The Stable,” Islanders fans finally have a place to call home sweet home with more than 17,000 seats and 700,000 square feet of space for celebrating goals, and they could not be happier.
Source by Lauren DiGregorio
Season ticket holders tour the new UBS arena while the space is under construction; the Islanders' light show before the game flashes colors of blue and orange upon the ice.
“The atmosphere in the new arena is incredible; everything is new and the noise and excitement level is through the roof. From the first time I stepped onto the grounds at the ground breaking event, to going to events while they were building it, to now, it is amazing to have been able to see the arena be built. The new arena has many great things but my favorite is probably either the coliseum-like noise level or the pregame ice show. It gets the fans excited, and it is amazing how they were able to program such elaborate shows to be projected onto the ice,” said senior Lauren Printz.
The UBS Center is more than just hockey; popular music star, Harry Styles, was the first musician to play a concert in the arena, and many artists are lined up to follow him, such as Imagine Dragons, TWICE and Twenty One Pilots. Comedians like Sebastian Maniscalco and Jeff Dunham, shows like Disney on Ice and Monster Jam and other sports are all set to take place at the venue, making it a destination for all performers to consider when coming to New York on tour.
Many students at New Hyde Park have already visited the freshly painted UBS center for hockey games, concerts and more to return with all positive reviews. One group went to the arena to see “WWE: Monday Night Raw” and had an unforgettable experience.
“One of the highlights of my November was definitely Monday Night Raw. I was especially excited to see the new arena. The people there were super nice and made it a great experience for all of us. We started off in the nosebleeds, and a worker moved us all the way to the pit, our new tickets included a suite with food and beverages. I asked the workers where to get the giant hotdogs and they escorted me the whole way to the vendor. The wrestling was fun to watch, but overall, just being at the arena with the nice staff made it so much better. I will never forget seeing Becky Lynch get destroyed right in front of my face. It was definitely pretty RAW,” said senior Maggie Kiley.
“Big Chicken, Shaquille O’Neal’s new restaurant chain, has created ‘The Islander,’ which includes fried chicken, ranch, cream cheese and pickles on a blue and orange bagel...”
Another exciting part of the new venue are the new vendors that have brought their specialties to the fans. Big Chicken, Shaquille O’Neal’s new restaurant chain, has created "The Islander," which includes fried chicken, ranch, cream cheese and pickles on a blue and orange bagel in honor of his restaurant being in the Islanders’ new home. O'Neal also brought along his special "Shaq" sauce and the “BIG Cookie,” a cookie the size of an official NBA basketball, for spectators to enjoy.