ELMONT, NY (CBSNewYork) – The official rock band was held Friday at the new UBS Arena on Long Island.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reports, after decades of wandering, the New York Islanders and their fans finally have a permanent place to call home.
READ MORE: Next stop, UBS Arena: Islanders Fans Giddy About the opening of Elmont Train Station
“Hello Islander nation, your new home is here,” Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky said.
“When the Islanders decided to go to Brooklyn, we felt like part of our heart back,” one fan said.
The UBS Arena in Belmont Park is state of the art.
“Really good experience to get right down the block and enjoy the Islanders,” said one fan.
“You are witnessing the miracle on ice right here because you got it done in two years during a pandemic,” Governor Kathy Hochul said.
The arena’s grand opening is Saturday night. The game is sold out.
“I can not wait until tomorrow night to get the festivities on the way,” Clark Gillies said.
Old time Islanders Stanley Cup heroes will have their numbers raised.
“This building is just so fabulous and you know it’s their home now,” Bob Nystrom said.
McLogan saw the finishing touches on the large open spaces for socializing, dining and drinking. There are shops with memorabilia, walls of fame, a hotel and a retail village to follow.
READ MORE: Islanders fan takes issue with apparent lack of handicap parking at the new UBS Arena
“Jobs, financial tension, $ 1.5 billion in private investment right here in the Nassau County,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
This is the second ribbon-cutting in a few days: The first LIRR station built in 50 years – Elmont – opened under fanfare to serve UBS Arena and the surrounding area.
“This train station will raise property values in the community,” said Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages.
But the trains that stop at Elmont only go eastbound until next summer.
“The westbound platform for Long Island Rail Road has not been built yet,” said Charlton D’Souza of Passengers United.
So until next summer, trams will be transporting fans, raising concerns about congested streets. With traffic and parking challenges, residents say officials need to be aware of community concerns and ready to fix what is not working, McLogan reported.
Business owner Sheila Phelan hoists the flag with crossed fingers.
“We did not like the Barclays Center, but as a business owner, I hope that after the pandemic, it will give me a big boost,” Phelan said.
Fans say they have gone from the outhouse to the penthouse.
For now, it’s a moment to celebrate.
MORE NEWS: Parts of the Cross Island Parkway will be closed Sunday for LIRR work near the UBS Arena
The demand for UBS Arena’s grand opening has, predictably, an effect on the ticket price, averaging more than $ 300 per. room for Saturday night’s Islanders game against the Calgary Flames.