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Belmont arena said to be "made for music, built for hockey," with easier, cheaper loading than Barclays/MSG; would 15K-seat Coliseum become downsized "theater" for concerts?

‘MADE FOR MUSIC, BUILT FOR HOCKEY’, VenuesNow reported 8/6/20, suggesting that the new UBS Arena at Belmont Park, thanks to the much larger footprint than urban arenas, will save money and time for multi-truck concert productions.

The arena, scheduled to open in 2021, "sits on 400 acres," according to article, which isn't accurate. But the larger footprint does allow more loading docks and backstage areas

“What’s unique about New York is you have an elevator and turntable at Barclays Center that artists have to deal with for tour production,” Tim Leiweke, chairman and co-founder of arena developer Oak View Group, told the publication. “When you have a 24-truck tour like Drake, you’ve got to load in one truck at a time, go down, hit the turntable, spin it around and unload it. In the case of the Garden, you’ve got a ramp that takes you up five levels and you (unload) one truck at a time.”

That adds time, and cost, given union expenses. So much for the 2013 statement by then City Planning Commission Chair Amanda Burden, in criticizing the antiquated Garden, that “Barclays has a major turntable beneath the arena that can handle trucks in a seamless way.” That point was echoed by architect Vishaan Chakrabarti, then a partner in SHoP, which designed the arena exterior.

Meanwhile, the Belmont arena will have seven loading docks, plus a drive-through bay. For artists, there's room for their RVs, plus what project architect Jason Carmello described to VenuesNow as "four dedicated star suites surrounding a premium green room and an artist entertainment lounge next door."

Big savings

Given the load-in efficiencies, OVG co-founder Irving Azoff estimated that promoters would save an average of $200,000 per event, a significant saving, assuming ticket sales stay constant.

Unmentioned in the article--VenuesNow just happens to be owned by OVG--are the potential disadvantages of a suburban arena, including limited access by public transportation, which are assets for Barclays and the Gardne. 

Is that new LIRR station coming on time? Will shuttle buses work well?

Another question unanswered: how many suites will the UBS Arena have?

How long by public transit?

in an 8/6/20 Newsday article, Nassau Hub, arena developers say pandemic has renewed interest in suburbs, Richard Browne of Sterling Project Development, which is leading the Belmont arena construction, said: “I think many people will be taking the train. It will be a 25-minute ride from Grand Central Station on the train, because of East Side Access. It will be 28 minutes from Penn Station. It will be under 30 minutes from Atlantic Terminal.”

That's the estimated elapsed time for the Long Island Rail Road--and assuming East Side Access to Grand Central is completed.

But that does not include the time it would take to get from the station to the arena and back by shuttle bus. It's not a simple walk.

East Side Access is the long promised and long delayed project to connect the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central.

A new identity for the Coliseum?

According to Newsday's account of a video discussion, the developers of the Nassau Hub around the Nassau Coliseum site and the Belmont arena noted new interest in the suburbs, given the pandemic.

So Scott Rechler, chairman and CEO of RXR Realty LLC,  suggests that the 72-acre Hub site might now include homes with offices rather than a hotel.

The OVG's Leiweke suggested that the Coliseum could be, in Newsday's paraphrase, "a Long Island version of Manhattan’s Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall or the Beacon Theatre."

Well, maybe. But those are accessible by subway, which helps.

And they're much smaller. The capacities are:
So that's essentially writing off the Coliseum--which was recently renovated and downsized--as a large venue, and emphasizing its curtained-off version.

The NYCB Live website states, "The Coliseum offers 14,500 seats for basketball, MMA and boxing, 13,900 for hockey, up to 15,000 for concerts, and 4,500 seats for its theater configuration."