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A New Year's Eve debacle outside the Nassau Coliseum: heavy rain and an underprepared arena

It was kind of a mess, New Year's Eve at the Nassau Coliseum, before the sellout Billy Joel concert. As News12 reported 1/1/19, in Rain ‘strains’ staff at Nassau Coliseum; Billy Joel fans left soaked, some fans waited an hour in the pouring rain, because of an understaffed and underprepared arena, with only two gates open.

An arena spokesperson sent News 12 a statement: "Extreme weather conditions placed additional strains on our staff and we apologize to any of our guests who were impacted. We will review and address these matters going forward." That doesn't, of course, excuse the lack of preparation.

Some pretty harsh comments on the article, including, "we were soaked throughout the entire concert. Not to mention we missed the entire first act." And: "Also don’t forget to mention how with the massive amount of people waiting to go in that finally the Coliseum allowed patrons to enter the venue without tickets being scanned or passing through security, just straight in the doors. This could’ve been a major safety hazard..."

Or "How about the two or three fist fights in line and not a single security or police officer in sight?"

"What was the point of this gazzilion dollar renovation???," one wrote. "So we can sit soaking wet in new seats????"

A larger warning

Remember, BSE Global, which operates the Barclays Center (where New Year's Eve apparently went smoothly), also operates the renovated Coliseum (after buying out Forest City Ratner, the original lead partner in Nassau Events Center), and has broader real estate ambitions.

Thus Newsday's 1/2/19 editorial, A concerning New Year’s Eve of troubles at the Coliseum:
But what happened in Uniondale mustn’t repeat. BSE Global is also a partner in the development of the 77 acres of Nassau County-owned land around it. BSE chief executive Brett Yormark has said the Coliseum’s successes bode well for the Nassau Hub. If that’s so, what does Monday’s unacceptable performance say?
We trust that what happened Monday is a bad blip, that Yormark and his staff will make necessary changes and focus on the bigger plans, and that BSE’s partner in the Hub development, RXR Realty, will help make sure development is done well.
That said, that doesn't quite answer the question about improving the Coliseum's operation, especially in light of looming--assuming it's approved--competition from a new arena at Belmont Park:
And Newsday readers, in letters, criticized a "poor attempt at an apology" and shot back at the claim the service problem was a "blip," citing problems at other recent events, including concerts by Elton John and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.