UBS Arena offers an accessible venue for Long Islanders

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Jake Schachter, Web Assistant Editor

On Nov. 20, Long Islanders were welcomed to the new UBS Arena in Elmont, New York.  The long awaited UBS Arena promises to give performers and sports teams a worthy venue. 

Planning for the UBS Arena began in 2017, and construction started in 2019.  The main purpose of the arena was to give our local NHL team, the New York Islanders, a new home after they have been hopping back and forth between Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale and Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  This new arena has been long overdue for the Islanders, because Nassau Coliseum was becoming old and run down.  Even after the Coliseum was renovated, it still had major problems, including its limited capacity and bathrooms.  The UBS Arena allows them to have the modern hockey arena that so many other teams have had without having to share arenas with other teams like the Brooklyn Nets.

“It is nice to have a new arena for the Islanders who have been stuck in the Coliseum,” said sophomore Ava Lucarelli.

The arena was fully booked for opening night.  This change seemed like a breath of fresh air for the struggling Islanders that could motivate them to do well this season.  However, this was not the case.  Many fans left the arena disappointed after the Islanders lost to the Calgary Flames 5-2.  Despite the loss, the amenities of the new arena improved the usual experience many fans have endured over the years.  Fans enjoyed the wide food selection from tacos to sushi.  There was even a chicken sandwich sponsored by Shaquille O’Neal: fried chicken on a bagel with mayo on it. 

“It is a bit disappointing that the Islanders lost their first game at a new arena, but I have faith they will do better,” said sophomore Lauren Young.

The arena will be used for sporting events and will also serve as a major venue for concerts.  The arena recently featured a Harry Styles concert on Nov. 28.  This event was popular with fans in the area, and showed the arena’s versatility.  Now, many artists who want to perform in New York don’t have to just go to Madison Square Garden, which is often the default choice.  In addition, it makes concerts more accessible to people who live in Suffolk County and may not want to travel all the way to New York City to see a show.

“I loved the Harry Styles concert so much and the arena was great. It was a truly great experience,” said senior Olivia Kerrane.

Many people who have gone to UBS see similarities with the Garden.  They both are very similar design-wise as they both offer a modern viewing experience for events and hockey games for fans.  They both can hold lots of people and they both have a wide selection of food choices.  Long Island has now become a legitimate option for artists instead of New York City.  The hope is the new arena will bring more artists to perform on Long Island.

In 2022, many artists will be playing shows at the UBS Arena, including Imagine Dragons, Journey, John Mayer, and Twenty One Pilots.  The ice rink also makes it possible to host popular shows such as Disney On Ice and Stars On Ice.  As more artists begin to plan tours in the next few years, UBS Arena is likely to be a stop.