Long Island News Post Published on June, 18th 2020, Written by Nick P.
The beloved Nassau Coliseum is set to close after taking massive losses from the Coronavirus shutdowns. The Long Island arena hosted professional hockey, concerts, and other events.
Nassau Coliseum operates under Mikhail Prokhorov’s Onexim Sports and Entertainment, which announced that it is seeking investors to take over operations and pick up the remaining debt on the building.
Onexim told potential investors that it would turn over the lease in exchange for assuming roughly $100 million in loans on the property. Nassau Coliseum has been out of operation since the pandemic began.
“The unforeseeable and unprecedented Covid-19 crisis has had a devastating effect on the operations of the Coliseum and its finances,” Onexim said in a statement. “While we still believe in the enormous long term economic value of the Coliseum and the development of the surrounding land, we recognize that such value will be best realized by other parties.”
The arena home to the Islanders for more than forty years, including the franchise’s four consecutive Stanley Cup title runs in the 1980s. The singer-songwriter Billy Joel performed there so frequently that the Coliseum’s operators printed his name on a banner and hung it from the rafters. The closing of the coliseum is tough for Long Islanders, as it had a spot in many locals' hearts after hosting so many great events over the years.
Long Islanders loved how Nassau Coliseum would be able to attract many major acts while being located close to home. Many people were disappointed when the Islanders moved to the Barclays Center in 2015, especially season ticket holders. The Coliseum underwent a $150 million renovation that year as well before reopening in 2017. It has hosted an average of 200 events a year, even including minor-league basketball and professional lacrosse.
This news is even more disappointing as Governor Cuomo announced that the Coliseum was set to host all the Islander home games for the 2020-2021 season. Many remain hopeful an investor will come in to reopening the venue by then. If not, the Islanders are still to return to Long Island in a new venue being built at Belmont for the 2021-2022 NHL season.
Nassau Coliseum History
Nassau Coliseum opened in 1972 the Coliseum occupies 63 acres (25 ha) of Mitchel Field. You may recognize that property as a former Army airfield which later converted into an Air Force base. The arena is located in Uniondale, 11553. It has jurisdiction within the
Town of Hempstead.
Nassau Coliseum is 44,000 square feet which is a great size for attending events. Many people comment that “there isn't a bad seat in the house” when attending an event since many of the upper deck seats are still relatively close to the action when compared to other venues.
The arena hosted sporting events, concerts, and shows, including trade shows. It was most well known for being the home of the Islanders for many years before their relocation to the Barclays Center.
The Coliseum is used for sporting events, concerts, large exhibitions and shows, as well as trade-shows.—44,000 In 2015, the arena was temporarily closed for a major renovation which was completed in April 2017. The seating capacity was gradually built up over the years when it reached 13,917 in 2017 after the renovation.
Will Nassau Coliseum Reopen?
Although it is looking grim at the moment for the future of live sports and entertainment. It is hard to imagine that the coliseum will not reopen after the Coronavirus pandemic has concluded and investors do not see as much risk in reopening the venue.
However, until that time, there is too much uncertainty about when sports will be able to return with fans in order to generate enough revenue to make it worthwhile for potential investors to take on the debt. With the Islanders having their new home set in Belmont, investors will have to come up with unique ways to sell out the arena throughout the winter months.
Only time will tell what the future holds for the iconic Long Island Venue.
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Long Island News Post Published June 18th, 2020
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