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OVG partners with UBS for $1.5bn New York arena

Venue development firm Oak View Group (OVG) has sealed a 20-year naming rights deal with Swiss bank UBS for a new US$1.5 billion arena in Belmont Park, New York.

The UBS Arena at Belmont Park is projected to open in time for the 2021-2022 National Hockey League season, and will be home to the New York Islanders.

The arena will host around 150 events a year, with a 19,000-seat capacity for concerts and 17,000 for sport. According to OVG co-founder Irving Azoff, the arena will be equipped with state-of-the-art amenities and some of the best high-end clubs and VIP spaces in live entertainment.

The redevelopment project, which OVG is working on in collaboration with the New York Islanders and Sterling Project Development, is expected to create 10,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs, generating approximately $25bn in economic activity over the term of the lease.

“UBS Arena is poised to become a global landmark entertainment and sports destination, leading us to partner with one of the world’s premier brands, UBS,” says Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group and leader of the arena project.

“UBS Arena is poised to become a global landmark entertainment and sports destination, leading us to partner with one of the world’s premier brands, UBS”

“Together we’re eager to deliver on our shared promise of helping reinvigorate the New York economy, creating jobs, supporting a sustainable future, and safely providing an unrivaled, distinctive premium experience for all.”

Ground was broken on the project on in September 2019 and halted in March 2020, as New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced a suspension of all non-essential projects due to the coronavirus pandemic. Work started back up two months later on 27 May.

“We need good news and we’ve got to make people understand we’re going to get through this (pandemic), we’re going to get back on our feet, and the city’s going to get back on its feet,” says Leiweke. “I don’t care what anyone says, when it came time to invest $1.5 billion, there’s no place we said ‘yes’ quicker than New York because it’s the most important city in the world.

“We’re excited to bring our passion and unmatched guest service commitment to life, and we look forward to welcoming fans to what will surely become a popular global destination for world-class events for many years to come.”

In addition to committing to boosting economic activity and providing jobs in the local area, the UBS Arena team is working with sustainability experts to minimise the environmental impact of the venue and become a zero-waste facility.

OVG recently signed up to the Amazon climate pledge and is working with the ecommerce giant to build the world’s first carbon neutral arena in Seattle.


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