Wellness on ice: Northwell, Islanders renew their vows

Breathe easy: Community wellness is a top priority at under-construction UBS Arena, future home of the New York Islanders.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

A Swiss multinational may have won the naming rights, but as UBS Arena emerges as a top New York sports and entertainment venue, Northwell Health will be there.

And so will throngs of post-pandemic employees and fans, all benefitting from a 10-year “founding sponsorship deal” announced Tuesday by the arena, the New York Islanders and the New Hyde Park-based health system.

In addition to extending Northwell’s 20-year marketing relationship with the Islanders – the health system is the team’s “official healthcare sponsor” and primary sponsor of the Northwell Health Ice Center, the Islanders’ East Meadow training facility – the new deal features an innovative array of community-wellness efforts, ranging from medical-grade HEPA filtration to cutting-edge sanitization technologies, along with a wealth of educational offerings.

The idea, according to Northwell, is to not only build the brand, but to reinforce “key pillars of health, nutrition and physical activity” that will promote wellness among the millions of people expected to flood UBS Arena, which is slated to open at Belmont Park in time for the 2021-22 National Hockey League season.

Net gains: Your health is in play in the new Belmont arena, according to Northwell CEO Michael Dowling.

Calling the under-construction, 19,000-seat, $1.5 billion arena “New York’s newest premier sports and entertainment venue,” Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling said the health system was “proud” to ink the undisclosed founding sponsorship, particularly with “25,000 employees living near UBS Arena alone.”

“Long Island is home to thousands of our patients as well as our employees,” Dowling said Tuesday. “This partnership allows us to reinforce our commitment to serving the community.”

Northwell is a natural fit for construction manager Oak View Group, a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment company with a global portfolio that’s targeting UBS Arena for a WELL Health-Safety Rating from the International WELL Being Institute.

With OVG also “committed to following CDC, New York State Department of Health and Nassau County Department of Health recommended guidelines” for health and safety – procedures sure to evolve during and after the Age of Coronavirus – the developer could hardly find a better sponsor/partner than Northwell Health, according to Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke.

“UBS Arena will be ready to welcome fans back … ensuring an unrivaled, distinctive live entertainment experience that is reflective of our commitment to unmatched service, safety and sanitization,” Leiweke said in a statement. “Planned top-of-the-line sanitization efforts from … UV light systems [to] disinfecting solutions that have proven safe and effective in large-scale public spaces will ensure future guests’ peace of mind.”

To ensure everyone else’s peace of mind, the partners have scheduled a virtual panel event focused on sanitization and the future of live UBS Arena events, featuring Dowling, Leiweke, New York Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky and a host of architectural and infectious-disease specialists.

The online discussion is slated to kick off at 10 a.m. Oct. 8 and pre-registration is required.