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Belmont Stakes forced to reduce crowd size due to the new UBS Arena

Courtesy of the New York Racing Association, Inc.

The Belmont Stakes attendance will be capped at 50,000 following construction of the new UBS Arena, which has roughly consumed 35% of the Belmont Arena’s backyard area. This $1.1 billion facility has been the home for the New York Islanders since late November.

In previous years, the Belmont Arena welcomed in 90,000 fans for each event. While the grandstand area remains unaffected, fans in past years had used Belmont Park's backyard area for picnics or enjoying nice weather.

However, the New York Racing Association already has big plans for the arena.

“The significant reduction to the size of the Belmont Park backyard makes the project to unlock the infield that much more important. The construction of tunnels appropriate for both vehicular and pedestrian access will transform the property and allow fans to access the infield as soon as 2024,” a spokesperson told Newsday.

Although seating has been limited for the time being, the association is still expecting a large turn out for the 154th running of the Triple Crown’s leg on June 11.

Belmont Stakes racing fans will be able tosecure tickets online starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10.

Brooke is a former intern with WSHU Public Radio.