The Suffolk County Legislature has authorized the county to enter into a memorandum of understanding to study plans to build a 17,000-seat sports arena in Ronkonkoma.
The vote was 14-3 with one abstention.
Chicago-based real estate developer Jones Lang LaSalle wants to build the arena on the land between MacArthur Airport and the Ronkonkoma train station.
The $1.1 billion plan also includes a hotel, medical facilities and retail space. The memorandum of understanding gives Jones Lang LaSalle eight months to fully develop the plan.
Critics question the wisdom of building an arena without a commitment from a professional sports team. The Islanders, who plan to build their own arena at Belmont Racetrack, say they are not interested.