Pistore, Abate named presidents of Islanders’ new Belmont Park arena

A rendering of the Islanders’ new arena at Belmont Park. (Photo courtesy of New York Arena Partners)

New York Arena Partners announced on Wednesday that Tom Pistore has been named President of Commercial Operations while Hank Abate is the President of Arena Operations for the new event center at Belmont Park, which will most notably house the NHL’s New York Islanders. 

“During these unprecedented times, we’re fortunate to be building Belmont Park Arena, which we are confident will play a key part in New York State’s economic recovery,” Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group — which is overseeing the arena’s construction, said. “This is going to be a world-class venue with a top executive team — Tom and Hank are highly respected throughout the industry and the perfect choices to lead us.”

Pistore spent 20 years at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Partnership where worked with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, among others. 

“Belmont Park Arena is going to be an iconic venue that will transform the way fans view sports and live entertainment,” Pistore said. 

Abate has spent over 40 years in arena, theater, and stadium management operations, including a stint as Executive Vice President of Venue Management for The Madison Square Garden Company. He will remain President of Oak View Group Facilities. 

“I’ve operated venues across the country and Belmont Park Arena will be second to none,” Abate said. “This Arena has been thoughtfully designed for the fans, artists, and athletes that will call it home.”

Also joining the Belmont Park Arena executive team is Charles Groneman as Chief Financial Officer, Zachary Klein as General Counsel, and Lea del Rosario as Senior Vice President of Human Resources. 

The desire for the new arena at Belmont Park to come to fruition was only strengthened amongst the fan base on Tuesday after it was announced that Nassau Coliseum — where the Islanders were scheduled to play all their home games next season — would close its doors until investors step in and pay down the venue’s debts. 

Despite a nearly-three-month delay of on-site construction due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Belmont Park Arena is still on schedule to open for the 2021-22 NHL season.