Nassau County Officials Close to Vote on Coliseum Renovation
By Joe Randazzo
Published: September 22 2013
Pending Monday's vote, Nassau Coliseum will be transformed into an entertainment center that would hold restaurants, ice skating rinks, and a movie theater.
Nassau County officials are set to vote on a deal that would completely renovate the Coliseum. The 40-year-old stadium has become rundown and Monday’s vote will transform it into a retail and entertainment complex that includes restaurants, ice skating rinks, a bowling alley, and movie theater.
The developer in charge of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum revamp is Bruce Ratner. If officials vote yes Ratner says taxpayers will be safe from having to pay for the project. He plans on taking on the complete $229 million tab with the help of private investors. The renovation is the only way to keep Nassau Coliseum where it is since the Islanders are leaving for Brooklyn during the 2014-2015 season.
Ratner hopes the new-look Coliseum will be the host to boxing events, and college and minor league sports. He also hopes to find a minor league hockey team to replace the void left by the Islanders. The team will still play six games a year for nostalgic purposes after the move to the Barclays.
Ratner was announced as the developer for this project in August. While the plan is tax payer free and will generate revenue for the county, economists are still unsure of whether this move will cover the rent. The new coliseum would have to generate $4.4 million a year with its main attraction gone.
While the state of their old home is still up in the air, the Islanders are looking forward to the Barclays Center move. The first official meeting as a team took place two weeks ago when players and staff rode the Long Island Rail Road to visit their new home. Islanders owner Charles Wang says his team will honor the lease and stay until it’s up in two years.
The Islanders gave the Barclays Center a test drive on Saturday during a 3-0 loss to the Devils.
Featured Image Courtesy of Joe Galletta