UBS Arena opens new outdoor ice rinks, beer garden in Elmont

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Two new outdoor ice-skating rinks at The Park at UBS Arena in Elmont offer Long Islanders a new place to chill.

The rinks are the centerpiece of an open-air park that also offers a beer garden with picnic tables, lawn games such as cornhole, food trucks and grab-and-go snacks, multiple fire pits, carnival games including a dunk tank filled with foam cubes instead of water, an Islanders “Swag Shack” and VIP igloos.

The Islanders are hoping to draw hockey fans to the venue for festivities before home games at the arena — and maybe even for watch parties on giant outdoor screens during select away games. On nongame days, the park will offer community public skating sessions with hockey and figure skate rentals, youth skating and ice hockey lessons and pond hockey league play.

Fire pits and VIP igloos at The Park at UBS...

Fire pits and VIP igloos at The Park at UBS Arena, a new outdoor attraction on the Belmont Park campus. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Bobby Faderl was one of the first people to see venue during its sneak peek soft opening on Wednesday before the Islanders home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and proclaimed it “incredible.”

“This is like a little version of a fan fest,” said Faderl, 38, a Hicksville resident and medic with the East Farmingdale Fire Department. “You’ve got concessions, you’ve got fire pits, you’ve got areas to hang out.”

Daily park hours will depend on whether there’s a home game or a nongame day. The park is free to enter and open to those who are attending games as well as non-ticketholders. Parking is free on nongame days.

Of the two skating rinks, Northwell Pond is a covered rink made of natural ice; the other rink, UBS Pond, and is made from synthetic ice that isn’t even cold to the touch. Skating costs $20 a person for a 90-minute session with a $10 skate rental fee. On game days, there’s a session from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and skaters should reserve a spot online in advance to be assured a space.

Other costs include playing the carnival games, buying food or drinks and purchasing Islanders swag. Visitors can bring in one six-pack of canned beer or canned wine per person of drinking age and can also buy alcohol at the park, said Simone Perrin, the Islanders’ vice president of marketing.

A dunk tank carnival game is filled with foam at...

A dunk tank carnival game is filled with foam at The Park at UBS Arena, a new outdoor attraction in Elmont. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

The park had its official “puck drop” and grand opening ceremony on Friday before the home game against the Washington Capitals. That event is free and open to the public. But the Islanders offered first responders the chance to play scrimmages on one of the new rinks on Wednesday afternoon; Sparky the dragon mascot also checked out the action, thrilling children who were there with their first responder parents.

The Park got a stamp of approval from the iconic former Islanders player Pat LaFontaine, 58, who lives on Long Island and visited the new park. “It’s kind of a winter wonderland for fans,” he said. “I jokingly said, ‘You’re going to have to let them know the game has started.’”

The new attraction is one part of the growing Belmont campus, said John Collins, operating partner for the Islanders and UBS Arena. Another element — Belmont Park Village — is slated to open during the summer of 2024 with 150 high-end retail outlets like Gucci and Prada and six restaurants, Collins said, expanding the area as a destination for sports, concerts and retail shopping.

The Park at UBS Arena

Outdoor ice skating rinks, gaming area, food trucks and entertainment. Open on Islanders game days as well as select nongame days. Online reservations in advance are suggested on game days.

ADMISSION Free entrance; ice skating $20 per session ($10 skate rental)

MORE INFO theparkatubsarena.com

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