County Legislature OK’s Coliseum redevelopment
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Nassau County will receive a minimum guaranteed payment of $4 million per year. Those payments will increase by 10 percent every five years, eventually totaling $195 million. With options, the total may grow to $334 million.
Nassau will also receive either $400,000 per year from the entertainment outside
the Coliseum, or 8 percent of that gross revenue, whichever is greater. The county will also retain the rights to future development at the site.
Ratner’s proposal to have the New York Islanders play four regular-season and two preseason games at the redeveloped arena will need the approval of the National Hockey League. The Islanders signed a 25-year lease last year to play in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which Ratner also developed, starting with the 2015-16 season.
Additional sporting events, according to Ratner, will include college basketball and hockey, boxing, a Brooklyn Nets preseason game and open practices. Ratner added that the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate, would become a permanent tenant of the new arena, pending approval by owner Charles Wang.
“First and foremost, I cannot wait to get started,” Ratner said at a press conference in the Legislature’s ceremonial chambers some 15 minutes after the vote. He called the process a “long, hard journey,” and reaffirmed that the arena would be built by union labor.
“I couldn’t be happier today,” Mangano said, “as the Legislature and the administration came together to launch a wonderful project.”
Ratner and Mangano were joined by the entire Legislature during the press conference. Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves, a Republican from East Meadow, thanked Ratner for his forthright responses to the Legislature’s many questions on Monday. “You addressed all the concerns that were raised here,” she said. “And you did it in a way that we believed what you said. And that doesn’t happen too often.”
“We’re excited about this project and the opportunity that it can bring…,” said Kevan Abrahams, a Democrat from Freeport who is the Legislature’s minority leader. “The one thing that I like about this proposal the most is that it puts people back to work.”
Brian Croce contributed to this story