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Friday, July 25, 2014
Coliseum developers narrowed to MSG, Forest City Ratner
Ed Mangano to make decision by mid-August
Herald file photo
Madison Square Garden Company's proposal, headed by President Hank Ratner.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano has chosen the Madison Square Garden Company and Bruce Ratner-led Nassau Events Center, LLC, as the two finalists to redevelop the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

Mangano was initially slated to make a final decision on Monday, July 15, but according to county spokesman Brian Nevin, a decision will now be made in the middle of August. "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," said Mangano.

According to Nevin, Mangano's Business Advisory Council has presented contacts to both MSG and Forest City Ratner Companies. The two companies requested a deadline extension to finalize their contracts.

Mangano, with his business council, will then evaluate the final offers and present one contract to the Legislature for approval. The Legislature is expected to hold a public input session prior to its decision.

The contracts, said Nevin, will detail the county's share in revenue from events at a refurbished Coliseum.

The Madison Square Garden Company is led by Hank Ratner. The group 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.

Their estimated construction time frame is one year, while renovating the building's interior and exterior and condensing seating to 14,500.

The group would bring at least one of its professional sports teams — 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 Rangers and Knicks practices, boxing and tennis.

Bruce Ratner, who is of no relation to Hank, is committing $229 million to his proposed renovations, which would include a renovated interior and exterior, condensed seating to 13,000, and a new outdoor amphitheater, movie theater, bowling alley, a House of Blues or a Filmore Theater, and retail. The time frame of construction is approximately 15 months.

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