UBS reaches 20-year naming rights deal for NHL's Islanders Belmont Park arena

Key Points
  • The New York Islanders' new arena located at Belmont Park will be named UBS Arena after a 20-year naming rights deal with the bank.
  • According to a report, the agreement is worth $350 million.
An aerial photograph showing the construction site of the Islanders' future arena at Belmont Park on March 1, 2020.
John Keating | Newsday via Getty Images

The New York Islanders' new arena at Belmont Park finally has a name.

Switzerland-based investment bank UBS has secured the naming rights to the National Hockey League's newest arena, which will now be called UBS Arena. The agreement is for 20 years, but a UBS Americas official declined to reveal the firm's annual fee for the rights. However, according to Sports Business Journal, which also reported the transaction, the deal is worth $350 million, and pays roughly $17.5 million per year.

As part of the deal, UBS, which has its U.S. headquarters in New York City, will have increased brand awareness via exterior signage, a UBS logo placement on the roof and its logo placed on center ice for NHL games. The $1.5 billion complex in Elmont, New York, is located behind the track for the Belmont Stakes and is scheduled to open for the 2021-2022 NHL season.

According to the release announcing the deal, UBS Arena and future development projects are expected to "generate approximately $25 billion in economic activity" and 3,000 permanent arena jobs for workers who live in the surrounding communities.

In a conference call with CNBC discussing the transaction, Islanders owner Jon Ledecky said UBS is making "a terrific commitment to the overall New York economy with this deal."

"This is a privately funded arena and resources like a naming rights deal are critical to the success of the project," he said, noting the "$100 million investment in transit and infrastructure enhancements, including the first New York Long Island Railroad station in 50 years."

Climate Pledge Arena rendering
Source: Amazon

Despite Covid-19 concerns, Tim Leiweke, CEO of advisory firm Oak View Group, who helped secure financing for the building, said UBS Arena is still projected to host 150 to 200 major events annually. Oak View Group also secured the naming rights for Amazon to take over Climate Pledge Arena, formerly KeyArena, in Seattle.

Seattle was awarded an NHL expansion franchise in 2018. The unnamed team will be the NHL's 32nd team and it's projected to start play in the 2021-2022 season.

Before the coronavirus suspended NHL games, the Islanders split time between the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and its original Nassau Coliseum home since 1972. The team announced it would be moving back to Nassau County in December 2017 with the construction of the new 18,000-seat arena at Belmont Park

"This anchors one more time the arena at Belmont and the Islanders as a fundamental part of Long Island," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said on the call with CNBC. "It will be a boom for the Long Island economy."

The NHL will resume its play on Aug 1 in Edmonton and Toronto after suspending operations due to Covid-19 on March 12.

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