Floral Park Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald says issues remain with UBS Arena following opening in letter to residents

Brandon Duffy
Floral Park Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald detailed issues seen with the opening of the UBS Arena to residents last week. (Photo courtesy of the Village of Floral Park)

Floral Park Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald said in a letter to the village last week that “a number of issues arose” with the UBS Arena’s opening the weekend of Nov. 20, including people climbing bordering fences in order to travel to and from the stadium.

There are a number of pre-existing gates in Floral Park that lead to Belmont Park, specifically towards the North Lot near the racetrack. Fitzgerald says that it is not an appropriate method of travel to the arena, and is considered an illegal trespass subject to arrest, fines or both.

“We continue to speak with our state elected representatives, state agencies and others on a daily basis to work on rectifying most of these issues,” Fitzgerald said. “We have proposed several steps that can be taken that we believe are reasonable solutions that can and should be quickly implemented.”

The mayor has said that village officials predicted the issues that happened over the opening weekend, and has informed residents that security in the north Lot, which borders a playground and residential backyards, will have doubled security and will include peace officers, per the developers. 

UBS Arena’s opening adds to a list of issues the village has had with the Belmont Park redevelopment project. 

Floral Park filed a lawsuit in September 2019 asking a judge to overturn all approvals, stop construction on the site and restart the environmental review process, citing a “flawed” public bidding process and “inadequate” environmental review, according to documents.  A state Supreme Court justice dismissed the suit in May 2020. 

In October, the mayor released another letter detailing a dispute between the village and developers over the land that borders the North Lot and village. After assurances that any construction would stop, it failed to, until state and local officials intervened on the village’s behalf. 

The mayor said at the village’s last board meeting that issues, specifically regarding a fence designed to be much closer to the lot than it is, are still a prevalent issue. 

Throughout the first events at the UBS Arena, which just recently canceled a pair of Islanders games due to a team COVID outbreak, the Floral Park police department will be strictly enforcing all traffic laws while monitoring the influx of traffic. 

“We wish the best of luck to the developers, and hope that quality of life issues are kept to a minimum,” Fitzgerald said at the November board meeting.

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