During the final season at the Nassau Coliseum (the first final season), I collaborated with New York Islanders statistician Eric Hornick on an "It Happened at the Coliseum" line of apparel to benefit the Make-a-Wish foundation.
Now, nothing is happening at the Coliseum.
It's sad and predictable.
Will the former home of the New York Islanders survive?
The arena has gone mostly dark and dormant amid competition from UBS Arena. While the Coliseum currently serves as the home to the G-League's Long Island Nets and National Lacrosse League's New York Riptide, a recently renovated arena, at a price tag of $165M, can't survive on developmental league basketball and indoor lacrosse.
How about music? There are no concert dates scheduled until Judas Priest in October. If you think that's enough to keep the lights on regularly, you've got another thing comin'.
"You know if someone comes up with a good plan - and something that's sustainable for Nassau County - something that's exciting and good for the residents, I'm certainly going to keep an open mind to that."- Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman
In an exclusive with AMNY, Nassau County executive Bruce Blakeman told Joe Pantorno and Christian Arnold “We are very mindful that the Coliseum is dark more than it’s not,” Blakeman said. “And that they have tremendous competition, especially coming from UBS Arena, and that they might have to look at a different model."
“Whether the Coliseum survives is still in question but again, we’re open-minded.”
The Nassau Coliseum sits on 77, that's SEVENTY-SEVEN acres of real estate. 72 of those acres are controlled now by developer RXR Realty. Blakeman suggested that there are multiple plans on the table for discussion and that a sports/athletic presence is likely to be part of that.
That comment, about sports remaining at the HUB, came days after the Newsday editorial board stated definitively that the "Nassau Coliseum must be demolished. The beloved but long-maligned arena has served Long Island well for 50 years but now it's an expensive, unsuccessful albatross."
The best days of the arena are long gone, now Long Islanders will wait and see how many days remain in its future.