By Eden Laikin
The newly transformed Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum opens this week with much excitement.
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano – who early on in his administration vowed to get this project done with private financing – spoke this week about the New Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum presented by NYCB, and about tomorrow’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
Construction of the new Nassau Coliseum, in order to transform the outdated arena into a world-class sports-entertainment destination, began on November 5, 2015.
County Executive Mangano assured residents that the new venue will retain its history of honoring our veterans, in ways that include leaving eight empty seats in the stands, to honor military veterans, first responders and 9/11 victims.
Acts like Barbara Streisand, Marc Anthony, Bruno Mars, Barry Manilow and Stevie Nicks; rock bands Def Leppard, Metallica and Tony Award-winning icon Idina Menzel – as well as sporting events and family shows are booked to perform at the New Coliseum.
At the same time, the new venue – and its surrounding retail – will share revenue with taxpayers, by way of employing about 1,500 people.
The 43-year old Coliseum and surrounding plaza are being upgraded by a $265 million private investment from Nassau Events Center – with no taxpayer dollars.
Furthermore, $194.5 million is the minimum guaranteed revenue the County will receive during the 34-year lease term with NEC. Simply put, the County will receive a minimum of 8% of gross revenue or $4 million annually, whichever is greater; plus $400,000 annually from the retail component or 8% of the gross, whichever is greater. Payments began pre-construction in August 2015 and will be used to help us keep County property taxes down.
In addition, the County Executive said, the arena will generate $3.7 million in annual sales taxes, along with an estimated $2.7 million in annual sales tax from new retail and entertainment surrounding the area. The Coliseum will continue to be owned by the taxpayers and the County sheds $2 million in costs for utilities, repairs, and capital expenses.
The surrounding plaza at the “Hub” location will soon be home to Sloan Kettering Cancer, and an Innovation Center. $88 million from NYS is being invested to open the site to further development – including parking structures and pedestrian access connectors. New housing opportunities are being discussed for the surrounding Plaza, along with restaurants, retail, and family entertainment options.
The new Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will be an outpatient treatment facility that offers critical care to those fighting cancer without the wear and tear of traveling to Manhattan. It will also employ 250 people with an average salary of $150,000.
“Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is only the beginning of our vision to establish the Hub as an Innovation Center,” Mangano added.