Members of the Nassau and Suffolk legislatures joined forces Friday at the Nassau Coliseum to urge the New York Islanders to return to their former Uniondale home — a move that both the team and the National Hockey League have been reluctant to support.Remember, they approved the renovation that would downsize the arena and make it unsuitable for major league hockey.
At a news conference outside the arena, lawmakers and business leaders argued that the Coliseum, which recently underwent a $165 million renovation, could be retrofitted to add back thousands of seats, increase the square footage of the locker rooms and build more luxury boxes and a team store.
However, as was obvious during the livestreamed press conference I saw, there were no details about how much it would cost, how it might work, and who would pay:
Nassau Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) said lawmakers need to provide the team with an “incentive” to return to the Coliseum.At another point, though, officials said it could all be done with private funds. Note that the Coliseum is 416,000 square feet, while the Barclays Center, unwieldy and too small for hockey, is about 670,000 square feet.