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Saturday, October 25, 2014
Coliseum plans move forward
(Page 2 of 4)
Alyson Goodman/Herald file photo
County Executive Ed Mangano is calling for a downsized Nassau Coliseum, and is seeking a private company to finance the renovations while operating the venue.
In a press release, Mangano said that public-private partnerships are essential to rejuvenating Nassau’s economy. “The RFP we will offer the real estate community reflects that this administration believes that business needs to be engaged in as many county public–private partnerships as appropriate if we expect to create new jobs, generate new investment and rebuild our tax base so that we can take the burden of government off the individual homeowner,” Mangano said. “It is crucial that we let the private sector do what it does best while letting government provide the essential services where it has demonstrated core competence.”

A smaller Coliseum

Mangano revealed his plan for a scaled-down arena during his State of the County address on March 13. “Through a public-private partnership, my vision includes a downsized, privately funded arena that continues sports and family entertainment while also freeing up excess parking acreage so that a Rockefeller Center-type destination can be built,” he said.

The plan, Mangano added, calls for Nassau County to share in a percentage of gross revenue to be used to pay down “years of accumulated assessment debt.”
Bidders have 30 days to file responses to the county, and Mangano said that a selection would be made sometime in April.

According to Brian Nevin, a spokesman for Mangano, the selected developer will lease the Coliseum and necessary parking areas from the county, and will complete all of the renovations of the arena. The county will continue to own the 77-acre site, and intends to lease only the portions necessary for the operation of the Coliseum.

Nevin went on to say that the developer would be responsible for booking as many events as possible. He added that while acquiring a professional sports team is not required by the RFP, “any proposal that includes such a team will be looked upon favorably.
“Having a professional major or minor league team as an anchor tenant committing to play its home games at the arena,” Nevin continued, “provides a definitive set of arena events on which the county and selected proposer can rely.”

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