Islanders to bid farewell to Brooklyn, head back to LI

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BROOKLYN -

The New York Islanders are saying goodbye to Brooklyn after three seasons at the Barclays Center.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the official announcement Wednesday that the Islanders won the bid for a plan to develop Belmont Park in Elmont.

The plan, a $1 billion investment by Arena Partners, includes an 18,000-seat, year-round arena with 435,000 square feet of retail space, restaurants and a hotel.

PHOTOS: View the renderings of the new Belmont Park arena

NEWS CONFERENCE: See the full remarks at Belmont Park

"When they left and went to Brooklyn, Long Island lost something. It was sad. They were so much part of the identity and the culture and the character of Long Island," said Gov. Cuomo. 

Some fans that spoke to News 12 Brooklyn said the move made sense. 

Others questioned how nearby businesses might be affected by the move. 

"The bars and the restaurants are booming on those nights," said Zachary Gillespie, of Prospect Heights. 

Gov. Cuomo says he will be negotiating to get the Islanders to play at the Nassau Coliseum while the new arena is being built.

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