Nassau Coliseum to remain closed “indefinitely”
Uniondale, NY area Nassau Coliseum won't be reopening after the coronavirus pandemic allows live music and sports to resume, Bloomberg reports. Onexim Sports and Entertainment, owned by billionaire and former Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, operates the arena, but they plan to leave it shuttered "indefinitely" while looking for investors and a new operator, sources told Bloomberg.
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Onexim has told potential investors that it would turn over the lease in return for assuming roughly $100 million in loans on the property, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions were private. The firm, which is laying off arena employees, could also surrender the lease to its lenders, the person said.
The arena has been dark since the pandemic hit New York and shut down much of the U.S. economy. The coronavirus also slowed progress on a redevelopment project known as the Nassau Hub, which calls for the construction of offices, housing and retail space on roughly 70 acres of parking lots surrounding the arena the Coliseum.
In a statement, Onexim wrote, "the unforeseeable and unprecedented Covid-19 crisis has had a devastating effect on the operations of the Coliseum and its finances. While we still believe in the enormous long term economic value of the Coliseum and the development of the surrounding land, we recognize that such value will be best realized by other parties."
The arena, whose full name is "Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum," reopened in 2017 after closing for renovations in 2015. It was supposed to host The Islander's games in the 2020-2021 season, which was upended by coronavirus, but the team is also in the midst of building an arena in Belmont Park.