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New York Islanders, NYCFC Competing To Call Belmont Park Home

ELMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Two New York sports teams are vying to redevelop Belmont Park.

Either way, a massive development is coming to the Nassau-Queens border after years of debate.

CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff got a sneak peek Thursday.

Islanders fans are rooting for the team to return to Long Island after its unpopular move to Barclays Center.

"I won't go to Brooklyn to see a game – too far away," one fan said.

"It would really be something special," another added. "A lot of the fan base is still out here."

Details of the two bids to redevelop the 40 acres surrounding Belmont Racetrack are under wraps. They'll be unveiled Sunday.

But CBS2 has learned the Islanders teamed up with Madison Square Garden and the New York Mets to propose an 18,000 seat arena. On the north side of Hempstead Turnpike, there would be a hotel and shopping village; on the south side, a community center and park.

The New York City Football Club's proposal includes a 26,000 seat soccer stadium on the north side and a community center to the south.

Both plans include major upgrades to Belmont's LIRR station. But some locals aren't rooting for either bid.

"When you build an arena, communities go down," said Flora Park resident Nadia Holubnyczyj-Ortiz.

The community advocate fears traffic and low quality jobs, but agrees it's time to replace vacant lots.

"Building is necessary and encouraged, but the community wants that involvement," Holubnyczyj-Ortiz said.

Senator Todd Kaminsky says it's time to do something, but do it right.

"I'm confident that we can do something major that is going to propel Long Island forward... but that also will help the Elmont community thrive," he said. "That's the idea. We have to do both."

The Islanders have until the end of January to opt out of the Barclays Center. The team's owner says there is no Plan B beyond Belmont.

Empire State Development, which will award the bid says it's still reviewing proposals and has no official timeline. Fans hope the state will consider that the clock is running out.

The big reveal on all the details of both bids is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Elmont High School.

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