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Northwell partners with Islanders on arena

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Northwell Health has partnered with the New York Islanders and the UBS Arena to provide more community-based wellness programs and ensure people’s safety and well-being while inside the future live entertainment and sports venue, Northwell and Islanders officials announced on Oct. 6.

The 10-year founding sponsorship deal is just the latest extension of Northwell’s 20-year-long relationship with the New York Islanders Hockey Club as the team’s official health care sponsor and title sponsor of its East Meadow practice facility.

“We are proud to align ourselves with New York’s newest premiere sports entertainment venue,” Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health, said in a statement. “With 25,000 employees living near UBS Arena alone, this partnership allows us to reinforce our commitment to serving the community, and we look forward to developing future health and wellness programming with UBS Arena and the New York Islanders.”

As part of the agreement, Northwell and the Islanders will create community programs focused on health, nutrition and physical activity. Additionally, Dowling said, Northwell — which has dealt with thousands of Covid cases throughout the pandemic — will use its knowledge of the coronavirus to ensure the safety of all patrons.

The new arena will feature “top-of-the-line sanitation efforts,” according to Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group and lead developer of the arena project, including a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration system, ultraviolet light systems and disinfecting solutions “that have proven safe and effective in large-scale spaces.”

“Our experience with Covid is very instructive here,” Dowling said, calling the partnership a “win for the Islanders, a win for Northwell and a win for the community.”

The partnership, he explained, will help Northwell expand its outreach efforts and learn more about the community’s needs.

“When you have good people do good things,” Dowling said, “that makes all the difference.”

The UBS Arena is expected to open in time for the 2021-22 hockey season, and will feature a 17,000-seat arena for the Islanders hockey team. For more information, visit, www.UBSArena.com.

The project is expected to create 10,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent jobs, generating approximately $25 billion in economic activity over the term of the lease. 

The roof was being installed on July 22, and officials expected it to be fully-enclosed by the end of the year.

“New York is our home,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group, and leader of the arena project. “We wanted to put New York back on its feet.”

The $1.5 billion private investment into the arena and the overall surrounding campus will provide a significant boost to the regional economy at a time when economic activity has slowed due to the pandemic. The project will also inject much needed stimulus into the New York economy and the local community, with the goal of filling 30 percent of UBS Arena’s permanent jobs with workers who live in the surrounding area. 

Additionally, 30 percent of contracting dollars for construction will also be earmarked for state-certified minority and female-owned businesses, and 6 percent will be earmarked for service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. An additional $100 million investment in transit and infrastructure enhancements, including the first, newly constructed Long Island Rail Road station in almost 50 years, will benefit local residents and visitors for decades to come. 

Tony Bellissimo contributed to this story.