What Is Next For The Nassau Coliseum?

The building is mostly dark.

Nassau County, New York politicians have a simple question. What shall we do with the Nassau Coliseum? The 50-year-old building which at one time housed the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders and the American and National Basketball Association’s New York Nets, is pretty much a ghost town. The building hosts the NBA’s G League Long Island Nets and the National Lacrosse League’s New York Riptide and has some concerts here and there. The building is 13 miles east of the Islanders arena at Belmont Park which opened less than a year ago. The new building has hockey, concerts and some mass transportation while the old building has a big parking lot with some buses running nearby. For decades developers have wanted to develop some of the 77 acres of property on the land Nassau County owns where the Coliseum sits. Nothing has happened.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman doesn’t seem to know what to do with the building that was renovated in 2015. “We are very mindful that the Coliseum is dark more than it’s not. And that they have tremendous competition, especially coming from the Islanders arena, and that they might have to look at a different model. Whether the Coliseum survives is still in question but again, we’re open-minded.” Howard Milstein and Steven Gluckstern bought the Islanders in 1998 with the thought of building a new arena as part of a plan to develop acres of parking lot and other land. Milstein and Nassau County Executive Thomas Gulotta reached an understanding to build a new arena and develop the area in 1998, but that deal was gone by January 1999 because the two parties could not agree on who should do the arena construction. Twenty-three years later, there is another developer who wants the land but nothing has happened.

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Construction continues at UBS Arena, the future home of the New York Islanders NHL hockey team, in Elmont, N.Y., Thursday, June 3, 2021. The building will have all the bells and whistles and be better accessible to Islanders fans than the recent temporary home in Brooklyn, and the hope is it will provide a strong home-ice advantage for decades to come. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)