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Sunday, November 23, 2014
Four new plans offered for redesign of Coliseum
Bruce Ratner, Madison Square Garden, Jay-Z top list of respondents
Bill Kelly/Herald
Hank Ratner, CEO of Madison Square Garden Company, was the last to present.

Four companies presented their proposals to revamp the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum at a joint press conference at the Nassau County Police Department headquarters in Mineola on May 2.

In March, County Executive Ed Mangano issued a request for proposals, seeking a private company to reinvent the Uniondale complex.

The four respondents were headlined by some notable names, including Jay-Z, developer Bruce Ratner and Hank Ratner, the CEO of Madison Square Garden, and who is of no relation to Bruce. Each group was given 30 minutes to pitch its plan to rejuvenate the 41-year-old arena and its surroundings with private funding.

"It is our desire to be as transparent as possible in the selection process for the best proposal to refresh the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum,” Mangano said, adding that he had not previewed the proposals prior to their presentation. “It's an opportunity to continue the quality-of-life-events, family entertainment and sports, as well as create jobs and opportunities.”

The conference was hosted by Mangano's business advisory council, headed by chairman Bert Brodsky. The following are the four proposals.

Nassau Events Center LLC

A partnership of 11 enterprises, including the Bruce Ratner-owned Forest City Ratner Companies, the Barclays Center, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and Legends, Nassau Events Center LLC said it intends to book events more than 300 nights a year at a revamped Coliseum.

The group's plan calls for a smaller, "more intimate" arena with a seating capacity of 13,000. The New York Islanders, who will play their home games at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn beginning in 2015, would return to the Coliseum to play six homes games per year, under the group's plan. The Brooklyn Nets would play one preseason game per year there, and the remaining nights would be filled by concerts, minor league hockey, family and trade shows, and parking lot events, said Brett Yormark, CEO of the Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets.

Within the arena, a theater would be designed to seat 4,000 to 8,000 people.

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