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Editorial 7/29/2011
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Coliseum Vote
presented by Peter Kohler

On Monday August 1, Nassau voters will be asked to support construction of a new coliseum for the New York Islanders and a new minor league baseball park.

Thousands of jobs, new business and revenues will be generated by all the events a larger coliseum will attract. Not to mention 1,500 construction jobs.

To his credit, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano has persisted in his politically risky campaign for a new coliseum. He makes a persuasive case. He warns that the Islanders will depart if the referendum fails. Their loss could also cost Nassau dearly in lost revenues.

So doing nothing is not an option.

Mangano is also right to stress the big picture. For years, he argues, county leaders have focused on building a new coliseum to stimulate development of the Hub, Nassau’s primary center for economic growth.

And if the referendum is approved, major issues still must be resolved. County legislators must approve a lease providing sufficient parking for coliseum events, without impeding private development of surrounding county land.

So we urge Nassau voters to say yes to rebuilding Nassau’s Hub as a dynamic center for sports, entertainment and economic development.

And to say yes to jobs.

Jerry Romano
Sea Cliff, NY
The numbers don’t add up for building a new Nassau Coliseum, which is why the facts haven’t been presented to the taxpayers. The Islanders represent about ¼ of the revenue at the Coliseum and “if” they left, more entertainment events could be booked and those entertainment dollars will still be spent in Nassau. The Coliseum needs to be cleaned up from the revenue it generates. Is a 30-year lease with a shell corporation, not the Islanders, for 40 years of debt a good deal for Nassau?
Gail Stackman
Rockville Centre
I AM TOTALLY OPPOSED TO REBUILDING THE NASSAU COLISEUM. I CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY FOR A COLISEUM THAT I DON’T USE. I live in Nassau County for 42 years and been to the coliseum 3 times. One hockey game was enough for me for life. Listening to the foul language, screaming for BLOOD and seeing children being taught to behave like animals by the low class trash that attend these games is enough reason to GET RID OF THE ISLANDERS. REGARDLESS OF MUCH MONEY THEY ARE PAID, they are destroying a generation and fostering NO CLASS behavior. Should people who have no use for a new monstrosity have to sell their homes to support this garbage? Please check the number of foreclosed homes in Nassau County and rethink your decision to RAPE the public by saddling them with even more taxes. The rebuilding concept is making me sick. 3 times in 42 years were 3 times too much.
Sab Singh
Rockville Centre
The numbers being touted by Mangano and others are a bit too optimistic. As a professor of sports management and someone who has followed these types of deals for a long time, it is almost certain that the county will not make money on this deal. Publicly-financed facilities just don’t make enough to counterbalance the public’s outlay. The construction jobs are short term. The county’s commitment is 30 years. And you are assuming little to no cost overruns. This is NY. You are guaranteed to have cost overruns. Just ask the Yankees, Mets, and the Jets/Giants (yes I know that is Jersey but we are talking about the same market). If you are going to vote Yes, just remember you are doing so to keep the Islanders not because this is at all fiscally responsible. Wang just is tired of fighting this fight. I don’t blame him. But he has no valid response when he is asked why he can’t privately finance this. He simply says it is not a good idea at this time. I would say the same exact thing back to him when he asks about a publicly financed facility. Finally, the minor league ballpark came out of nowhere. I would love to see the reasoning by including such a structure. I seriously doubt this is the best use of space when it comes to economic impact and residents’ interest. I have never heard anyone cry out for minor league baseball in this market.
Read about the plan and find out where to vote so you can make an informed decision on Aug.1
The most up-to-date information about plans for a new arena in Nassau
May 17, 2011
It was a familiar scene, bringing another announcement about another plan to rebuild Nassau Coliseum and keep the Islanders on home ice for decades. Those making the announcements were all smiles: Islanders Owner Charles Wang, Nassau Executive Ed Mangano and Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, their words cheered by a Greek chorus of construction workers–familiar faces at such events–chanting, “build it now!” The only thing lacking was details…
Jul. 27, 2010
Weeds still sprout around Nassau Coliseum, as still more plans to redevelop the surrounding area pile up. The latest is Hempstead’s scaled down plan to develop a 77-acre site around the coliseum as an alternative to the Lighthouse project backed by Nassau County. It scales down 30 story buildings to 9 stories, yet still provides density for hotels, retailing, housing and a convention center…
Feb. 16, 2010
Stroll with us down memory lane to Nassau Coliseum in 1999, where we noted editorially: “You won’t find much more than weeds growing here in the parking lots at Nassau’s Coliseum. That’s because the grand plans to replace this aging landmark with a new arena, convention center and hotel are going nowhere.” Sadly, “going nowhere” still seems to say it all…
Aug. 7, 2009
“Just build it!” That was the chant from construction workers, joining in a campaign to pressure the Hempstead Town Board. They appeared at an environmental hearing to promote a new Coliseum and the multi-billion dollar Lighthouse development project, grandly devised by Charles Wang and Scott Reckler…