Monday, February 13, 2017

Newsday says Coliseum uncertainties need clarity: despite promises, no minor-league hockey team, no islanders games, no related attractions

A Newsday editorial yesterday, Clear up unknowns around renovation of Nassau Coliseum
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is counting on a power-play goal. Big time.
He’s putting aside some terms of a lease that should provide significant revenue to the county in exchange for the unlikely possibility that the New York Islanders will return to Nassau Coliseum.
When Mangano and developer Bruce Ratner first announced their deal to redevelop the arena and the surrounding area in 2013, they highlighted promises of a minor-league hockey team, a few regular and preseason Islanders games, as well as retail shops and restaurants guaranteed to be finished just a few months after the arena was completed.
For now, although the arena is scheduled to reopen in April, none of the other promises will be a reality. The county is choosing not to enforce several clauses in its lease with Nassau Events Center, the group led by Ratner and Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov that’s developing the Coliseum and the area around it. That’s a risky move.
Not only is there no anchor tenant, the attractions on the arena plaza, like a movie theater, aren't on their way.

So why does the lease mean so little. Newsday says Mangano--who's been indicted, I should add--doesn't need legislative approval. But, as Newsday observes, "it would have been appropriate for Mangano to discuss the changes he was considering far earlier."

So will the Islanders return and save the day? Stay tuned.

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