Ratner's Plans For Nassau Coliseum Approved By County Legislature
The Nassau County Legislature yesterday unanimously approved its public-private partnership with developer Bruce Ratner's Nassau Events Center to renovate Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Under terms of the agreement, Nassau County will receive a percentage of revenue with a guaranteed minimum level of revenue-sharing that escalates throughout the life of the contract (Nassau County). On Long Island, Laura Figueroa notes developing firm Forest City Ratner "plans to revamp the Coliseum's facade with swooping metal panels and steel lattice, reduce the number of fixed seats to 13,000 from the current 16,234, renovate the bathrooms and concourses, and create an adjacent plaza with shopping, restaurants and an outdoor green for entertainment events." The project "will be financed privately" and cost $229M. Work on the project will begin once the Nassau Events Center, a subsidiary of Forest City Ratner, "enters into the county lease, which starts on Aug. 1, 2015." Ratner said that it is "likely to take 15 to 18 months to complete both the Coliseum and surrounding venues." Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton asked whether the Islanders "could play more than the six games Ratner plans for them to play each year at the new Coliseum." Ratner in his response said additional games are unlikely because they would not be "economical." The Islanders' lease at the Coliseum expires in July '15 (NEWSDAY, 9/24).