SBD/May 15, 2012/Facilities

Long Island Officials Say New Plan For Nassau Coliseum Needed Soon

Long Island business and civic leaders have indicated that a “definitive plan has to emerge soon” to redevelop Nassau Coliseum, according to Brodsky & Marshall of NEWSDAY. The Islanders' lease expires in ’15 and team Owner Charles Wang has noted he “won't keep the team in the current arena beyond that.” Long Island Regional Economic Development Council co-Chair Kevin Law said that “a ‘real plan with commitments’ must be in place by the end of 2012.” Nassau County Exec Edward Mangano said that within the next month he will “have a proposal for the site that could compete for state funds and meet the June 15 deadline.” However, the state funds, which will be "divided among 10 regions across the state, would provide only a fraction of what’s needed to build a new arena, make infrastructure improvements and provide parking.” Brodsky & Marshall noted, "Since the failure in August of a referendum to authorize Nassau to borrow up to $400 million to build a new Coliseum and a minor league ballpark on the site, Wang rarely has spoken publicly.” Mangano said that he is “looking at low-interest financing options, which could help to bring down the project's cost, and did not discount the possibility of providing some county funds.” Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray said that the town “will be flexible.” Murray: “Once a developer is designated, we're ready, willing and able to sit down and have a conversation and try to work this out so that the Islanders stay and we get good development once and for all.” Sources said that the Coliseum's current location “is not the only Long Island option,” as Belmont Racetrack and spots in Suffolk County, including Suffolk Community College's Brentwood campus, "are not off the table.” Mangano and other arena advocates said that they are “still optimistic that a deal will come through at the Coliseum site” (NEWSDAY, 5/13).
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