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More doubt about the Nassau Coliseum's future; the Islanders look forward

Newsday last night clarified that, beyond paying at least $4.4 million in rent, the operator of the Nassau Coliseum last year paid a total of $6.32 million, including utilities and entertainment taxes.

Onexim Sports and Entertainment, according to the article, is expected to ultimately pay the county unpaid rent from February, March and April. It's perplexing to me: yes, the Coliseum doesn't have revenues, but Onexim, owned by billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, has the money.

Building on his previous quote, Republican County Legislator Richard Nicolello, the legislature's  presiding officer, expressed doubt about the future of the Coliseum, given the expected compltion of the new Belmont arena, with the New York Islanders as anchor tenant.

"You’re going to have a competing arena 15 miles away … ," Nicolello said. "Hopefully, they’ll find somebody to run it, but it’s kind of questionable at this point."

More on the Isles

When the current season resumes in two hub cities, the Islanders are expected to play in Las Vegas.

Perhaps hoping to control a narrative that was leaving questions about the team's fate next year, the New York Islanders two days ago announced the executive team for the Belmont arena: Tom Pistore, president of commercial operations; Hank Abate, president of arena operations; chief financial officer Charles Groneman, general counsel Zachary Klein, and Lea del Rosario, senior VP of human resources.

As noted by amNY, Pistore spent 20 years at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Partnership in Toronto, while Abate has spent over 40 years in arena, theater, and stadium management operations, including Executive VP of Venue Management for The Madison Square Garden Company.

Next year in Brooklyn?

Though some have suggested that the Islanders would play their next home season at the Barclays Center, Andy Graziano, writing for WFAN, was doubtful:
Their relationship with Barclays Center was fractured beyond repair when BSE was under the leadership of Brett Yormark, who cared little about the team and the sport. With Yormark now gone, can anything be salvaged under the building’s new landlord, Joe Tsai? The ice is still horrendous and fans are less likely now to even give it a chance, given the mess some arena staff created of game nights. 
In speaking with three different sources Tuesday, the feeling I came away with is this is nothing more than a financial move for Prokhorov, and one I, if I was in his shoes, would have also instituted. It does not prevent the Islanders from fulfilling their remaining home schedule at the old barn, though, as announced and intended.

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