Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano has selected the Madison Square Garden Company and the Bruce Ratner-led Forest City Ratner Companies as the two finalists in the bidding to redevelop the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.
Mangano was initially slated to make a final decision in mid-July, but according to county spokesman Brian Nevin, that decision will not come until the middle of this month.
“Both the Business Advisory Council and the RFP committee determined that MSG and Forest City Ratner represent the best options for the people of Nassau County,” Mangano said.
According to Nevin, Mangano’s Business Advisory Council has presented contracts to both MSG and Forest City Ratner. The two companies requested a deadline extension to finalize their offers. Mangano and the council will evaluate the final offers and present one contract to the Legislature for approval. The Legislature is expected to hold a public input session before it makes a decision.
The contracts, said Nevin, detail the county’s share of revenue from events at a refurbished Coliseum.
The Madison Square Garden Company, led by President and CEO Hank Ratner, who is not related to Bruce Ratner, is proposing a $250 million renovation of the Coliseum, including a 150,000-square-foot entertainment district called Long Island Live!, which would house live entertainment, an MSG Zone, restaurants, bars and retail outlets. The arena’s seating capacity would be reduced to 14,500. The estimated construction time frame is one year.
MSG would bring at least one of its professional sports teams to the arena — the New York Liberty of the WNBA, the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League or the Erie Bayhawks of the NBA Development League, as well as New York Rangers and Knicks practices, boxing and tennis. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the county on making our compelling plan a reality,” Ratner said. “A successful Nassau Coliseum will mean an exciting new future for Nassau County, which includes new jobs and revenue, as well as a premier sports and entertainment destination for all Long Islanders.”