The Nassau Coliseum’s Newest Proposal To Keep It Open? Downsizing

The story has another curve in the road.  

There is another twist in the complicated saga of the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The New York Islanders ownership along with its business partner the Oak View Group has made it known that the entity would like to get the old building and turn it into a smaller concert venue. The problem here is simple. Someone else has the license to run events at the building, at least for now. The building is also closed right now. The old barn will be competing with the Islanders new home arena on the site of the nearby Belmont Park racetrack which straddles the Nassau County-New York City border. The National Hockey League’s New York Islanders franchise is supposed to play the 2020-2021 season at the Coliseum and then move operations into the new building. There may be some value for someone in taking over the Coliseum lease as there is an enormous amount of property that surrounds the building that could be developed.

In July, 2017, New York State’s Empire State Development agency issued a Request For Proposals for the state-owned land at the Belmont site. The RFP seemed to be written to suit the Islanders’ owners’ needs for a hockey arena. Within five months, the Islanders ownership along with its partners, the New York Mets and Madison Square Garden ownerships won the right to develop the property. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the winning bid and then suggested that the Islanders play some games at a renovated Nassau Coliseum. Cuomo pressured the Islanders ownership and the owner of the Brooklyn arena and license holder of the Nassau Coliseum to make that happen. New York State invested $6 million to make sure the Coliseum was fixed up for the team. The Islanders franchise has nowhere to play its home games for 2020-2021 season if there is a season. The Nassau Coliseum odyssey continues.

(Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)