Nassau Coliseum is finally getting a facelift.
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Executive Chairman of Forest City Ratner Companies Bruce Ratner took the stage Friday on the arena floor to announce details of their planned overhaul of Long Islands’ top sports and entertainment destination.
“We will bring over 300 events here,” Ratner said. “Two hundred have already been committed. Whether it’s college basketball, boxing, the Islanders for six games, rock concerts, country music, hip-hop, whatever your taste, we will have it for you.”
Nassau Coliseum opened in 1972, and while it has undergone numerous improvements over the years, this will be the biggest renovation the building has ever seen. Ratner’s plans include building restaurants, a movie theater, a theater club, bowling alley and a winter outdoor ice rink on the land around the Coliseum.
“This will provide decades of quality entertainment to residents of all ages, while paying tribute to the fond memories many of us have of historic concerts, sports, and family events many of us have held over the years,” Mangano said.
Mangano and Ratner were joined on stage by Islanders forward Matt Martin, Brooklyn Nets Head Coach Jason Kidd, Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett Yormark and several other representatives from the sports and entertainment industry.
After seeing the renovation sketches and listening to the speakers, Martin walked away impressed.
“You see what they did with Barclays Center and how amazing that facility is, and it’s going to be exciting for Nassau County,” Martin said. “Obviously we love playing here, but this arena now is a little bit outdated. It’s going to be great to see what they do.”
Ratner added that the timing of the Islanders move to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center is still the 2015-16 season. Coliseum renovations will begin during the summer of 2015, with the building set to re-open by September 2017. Mangano says that the new Coliseum will come at no cost to the Nassau County taxpayer.
"We've leveraged the enormous power of public-private partnerships to create a first class sports and entertainment destination right here in the heart of Nassau County,” Mangano said.
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