SBD/August 16, 2013/Facilities

Forest City Ratner Chosen To Renovate Nassau Coliseum With Deal Stretching 49 Years

Ratner's Nassau Coliseum renovation will include restaurants and retail space
Nassau County Exec Edward Mangano on Thursday chose Forest City Ratner to "renovate the Nassau Coliseum," with the company guaranteeing Nassau a minimum of $4.4M in the first year and $334M over the 49-year agreement, according to Brodsky & Marshall of NEWSDAY. Forest City Ratner Chair & CEO Bruce Ratner's $229M proposal "calls for a renovated 13,000-seat arena, a 2,000-seat indoor theater, an outdoor amphitheater, restaurants, an ice-skating rink and retail space." The Islanders, who will move to Brooklyn in for the '15-16 season, would "play a combination of six regular or preseason games at the renovated Coliseum." Ratner is working with Syosset-based developer Ed Blumenfeld, financial services firm Guggenheim Partners, Live Nation, Roc Nation and Legends Hospitality. Mangano said that there were "major differences in the financial impact of the Ratner and MSG proposals." Bid documents show Forest City Ratner will pay Nassau County 8% of all annual revenue generated by the Coliseum each year, "including tickets and concessions," and 12.75% of parking. The lease is for 34 years with an option for 15 more "if both parties agree to an extension." If there is no extension, "Ratner will pay Nassau a total" of nearly $195M over 34 years. Ratner also will pay the county 8% of the gross revenue "from new entertainment facilities surrounding the arena or a minimum of $400,000 a year -- whichever is greater." The minimum annual payment by Ratner "will escalate" by 10% every five years. Ratner would "take over all capital expenditures and maintenance of the arena," and it also "agreed to make payments in lieu of property taxes to Nassau, while MSG did not" (NEWSDAY, 8/16).

SMALL GETS SMALLER: In N.Y., Brett Cyrgalis notes the Islanders, by moving to Barclays Center, will "already have the smallest capacity of any building in the NHL, just under 15,000 seats." The renovated Coliseum "would hold even fewer, probably around 12,000." In hopes of "making up for the possible loss of 3,000 ticket sales, it’s believed tickets for the Islanders’ games at the new Coliseum would be significantly more expensive." The NHL has "made no declaration about the deal, but the league would have to approve it before one of its teams begins to play home games in two different venues" (N.Y. POST, 8/16).
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