ELMONT, N.Y. (AP) — Work has begun on a $1.3 billion arena for the New York Islanders hockey team at Belmont Park.

The 19,000-seat arena will also include shops, restaurants and a hotel. Work is expected to be completed in time for the 2021-2022 season.

Until then, the Islanders will play home games at the Nassau Coliseum and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. On Monday, the Islanders announced seven games were being moved from Barclays Center to the Coliseum this season, bringing the split to 28 games on Long Island and 13 in Brooklyn.

Dignitaries attending a groundbreaking Monday included Gov. Andrew Cuomo and actor and big-time Islanders fan Ralph Macchio.

Cuomo says the project builds on two Long Island traditions: the Islanders and Belmont Park, home of racing's Belmont Stakes.

The arena is being built on state-owned property. As part of the work, developers have agreed to pay to build a new Long Island Rail Road station nearby.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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