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After being shuttered and facing lease transfer, Nassau Coliseum loses naming rights partner

Given the managerial and financial gyrations of the Nassau Coliseum, as well as its murky future, it's not surprising that it lost its naming rights partner.

The name NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum is no more, Newsday reported 8/27/20. (As of today, the website is still live, as shown in the screenshot below.)


From the article:
New York Community Bank is exiting its long-term naming rights agreement because of the uncertainty surrounding the future of the 77-acre property, with a new arena operating company taking over, NYCB officials said Thursday.
Nassau County last week struck a deal with the Florida businessman who helped finance the Coliseum’s renovation to immediately take over the lease, after Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov shuttered operations in June.
NYCB officials said the new leaseholder, Jupiter, Fla.-based Nick Mastroianni II, agreed to let the bank leave the naming rights agreement early. Mastroianni could not be reached immediately for comment.
(Emphasis added)

Newsday reports that, while the value and term of the naming rights agreement, which involved the larger Nassau Hub property, was not disclosed, it was not "short-term," according to NYCB. A representative cited not just the lease transfer and shuttered-by-pandemic status, but also the stalled Hub transformation.

About the U.S. Immigration Fund

The article contains some misleading shorthand.

No, Mastroianni, who runs the U.S. Immigration Fund, a privately-operated "regional center," is not the new leaseholder; he's the agent for--and profiteer from--the pooled investment fund, formed by 200 Chinese investors who invested $500,000 each under the EB-5 program, that gave a low-interest loan to the project.

(Updated 12/1/20.) The U.S. Immigration Fund was not the investor; it recruited 200 Chinese investors to raise $100 million. But the U.S. Immigration Fund, which manages that investment, may well now control the lease.

That was to the Nassau Events Center, originally controlled by Forest City Ratner/Bruce Ratner, then Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim. Prokhorov pulled out from the Coliseum project after the coronavirus pandemic ended live performances, closing the doors, losing the lease to his lenders, and stiffing Nassau County on unpaid rent.

An 8/28/00 Bloomberg article,  U.S. Real Estate Pain Leaves Foreign Investors Holding the Bag, rounds up some EB-5 controversies, including--albeit with little detail--the Coliseum issue:
Maureen Hanlon, CEO of Nassau Events Center, which had operated the building for Onexim, said she was sorry to abandon the arena, but happy to reach an agreement that allows “the county to receive its rent and, most importantly, for the fans to have a functioning arena as soon as health guidelines allow.”
Note that that says nothing about the investors getting repaid. Still, the article closes with a general warning:
Gary Friedland, who has studied the program as a scholar-in-residence at New York University’s Stern School of Business, expects that plenty of other borrowers will walk away from an EB-5 projects in the months to come.
“For years, I’ve predicted there would be a flood of defaults,” Friedland said. “It’s risky capital. If there’s a reduction in values, it’s going to get hit.”

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