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Uneventfully, ESD board approves STV contract extension for Pacific Park, $6 million for Coliseum upgrades

In a completely uneventful meeting yesterday of Empire State Development, the state economic development authority, without discussion or debate, approved the renewal of a one consulting contract related to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, and also approved $6 million in previously announced subsidies to renovate Nassau Coliseum.

The STV contract

Interestingly enough, though the hastily-scheduled meeting of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC) two days earlier seemed set to ensure AY CDC approval recommendations for two consulting contracts, with environmental monitor HDR and owner's representative STV, only the STV contract came up yesterday. (Perhaps the HDR contract will come up in April.)

During the discussion--go to 1:17:35 of the webcast--AY CDC Executive Director Tobi Jaiyesimi dutifully recounted that the STV contract extension  was brought before the advisory board, and the board of directors voted in favor of it.

She didn't note that four of five of those voting were gubernatorial appointees, or that the organizations that had urged a broader review of such contracts were not attending the meeting. Such is the form of consultation enacted without much function.

$6 million for the Coliseum

Details on the $6 million for the Coliseum, previously pledged by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (and questioned by Newsday, among others), appear on p. 263 of the board materials, excerpted below. The renovation is due to be finished by hockey season in October.

As noted further below, Newsday was the first to report that the Islanders--not the arena operator, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BS&E)--will add $2.5 million.


The summary:
On January 29, 2018, New York State (the “State”) announced a commitment of $6 million in National Hockey League (“NHL”) enhancements at the Nassau Coliseum. The improvements are expected to be completed by fall 2018. Games will commence at the Coliseum, subject to the County legislature's approval of NEC’s lease amendment with the County which was ratified by the County legislature on February 26, 2018.
These investments are in support of larger and long-term improvements in and around the Nassau Hub and Coliseum. 
Funding will support enhancements to the Nassau Coliseum to meet NHL League requirements. The scope of work includes:
• Renovation of existing team campus (which includes the locker room);
• Installation of cabling infrastructure and related equipment;
• Installation of dehumidification measures;
• Installation of ice plant redundancy; and
• Upgrades to the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (“HVAC”) system 
Note the official explanation:
Results - New York State will invest $6 million in enhancements to encourage the Islanders to return to Long Island in fall 2018, three years earlier than scheduled. By playing games at Nassau Coliseum, the Islanders will build momentum and excitement for the transformational redevelopment of Belmont Park.
It's hardly clear to me (and others) that state taxpayers need to help a private sports entertainment company, the Islanders, "build momentum and excitement for the transformational redevelopment of Belmont Park."

The presentation at yesterday's ESD meeting occurs at 1:05:50 of the webcast, again without question or comment.

Newsday's Jim Baumbach, in yesterday's New York provides $6M for Coliseum renovation, added that the Islanders would provide the additional $2.5 million, saying, "We are excited to support Governor Cuomo in bringing hockey back to Long Island."

Given that team, rather than BS&E (which operates both the Coliseum and Barclays Center), it seems that the latter had a bit more leverage in this deal.

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