County could sue to collect $6 million in unpaid bills from SMG

Nassau County is considering filing a lawsuit agNew-York-Islanders-Nassau-Coliseumainst Nassau Coliseum operator SMG to collect nearly $6 million in unpaid rent, utilities, parking and concessions, as well as an additional $176,000 in back ticket taxes. (Newsday, May 19)

SMG owes the county money dating back to 2011, according to an audit conducted by comptroller George Maragos. He wants the county to file suit to collect the money.

“The county has every intention to collect the dollars owed and has been actively pursuing a resolution to make the county whole,” said County Attorney Carnell Foskey. (Newsday, May 19)

The Pennsylvania-based venue management company said they are working to settle the “unpaid bills,” but SMG insists they do not owe additional ticket tax revenue.

The report comes as the Town of Hempstead held a hearing on Monday regarding the master plan for the renovation of the Nassau Coliseum. The hearing lasted two hours and the town board unanimously agreed to vote on the plan at a future date. (Newsday, May 20)

The vote could happen at “next week’s meeting, it could be at the meeting in June, it could be at any future meeting,” said town spokeswoman Susie Pokalsky.

Forest City Ratner, the development firm that built the Barclays Center, plans to turn Nassau Coliseum into 13,000 seat modern facility along with an entertainment district and retail space. Rather plans on beginning construction in August.


Master plans for Coliseum renovation to be submitted on Tuesday

The master plans for the renovated Nassau Coliseum will be submitted to the town on Hempstead on Tuesday (Newsday, Apr 14).

Forest City Ratner, which is owned by Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner, is redeveloping the antiquated arena and the surrounding property. A town spokesman said that Nassau Events Center LLC — an affiliate created by Forest City to oversee the project — will submit a plan on Tuesday

Town supervisor Kate Murray said in a statement: “I look forward, along with my colleagues on the town board, to reviewing NEC’s plan.”(Newsday, Apr 14)

On Monday, Nassau County Legislators gave Ratner approval to receive $90 million in foreign financing for the project (Newsday, Apr 13).

The Coliseum project includes renovating, and downsizing, the coliseum to a 13,000 seat venue, restaurants and a movie theater. Construction is slated to begin once the Islanders relocate to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.


Forest City Ratner files suit against Blumenfeld Development over Coliseum renovation


Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Update: Forest City Ratner has filed suit against Blumenfeld Development Group. The suit alleges that BDG has tried to make “unilateral changes” to the Coliseum redevelopment plan, according to Newsday.

Forest City Ratner also alleges that the dispute has led to “delays and gridlock” in filing plans with the Town of Hempstead. Forest City officials do not believe the suit will hold up the time frame of the project, which is expected to begin in August.

However, a Long Island Business News report suggested that the suit could hold up the project for months. 

The disagreement stems from the retail and entertainment component of the project. Sources told LIBN that Forest City Ratner wanted to downsize that portion of the project to a third of what BDG had planned. The Blumenfeld plan included a 100,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops mega-store, a Dave & Buster’s, Modells, an indoor trampoline park, a multi-screen movie theater and a several restaurants.

Ranter’s group wants to downsize that to area to a bowling ally, movie theater and restaurant. To read more of this story, click here


NHL has ‘no indication’ Isles will return to Coliseum someday

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

Any indication that the Islanders could return to Long Island seems to be news to the National Hockey League.NHL: New Jersey Devils at New York Islanders

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daley told Newsday on Thursday that “we have been given no indication by the Islanders, or by anyone else, that the move to Brooklyn is or will be temporary.” The comment to Long Island’s only daily newspaper comes a day after Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano publicly expressed hope the Islanders would return to the a renovated Nassau Coliseum in a few years.

The county executive announced during his State of the County Address plans to build the Islanders new offices and a practice rink Cantiague Park in Hicksville using private funding. That along with a revamped Coliseum is part of a plan by the county to try and draw the Islanders back east to the suburbs.

County executive Mangano hopes the practice facility “cement the Islanders in Nassau and provide hope, that we will witness the Islanders full-time return when they see the magnificent new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.”

Bruce Ratner, the developer and owner of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, will be renovating the Nassau Coliseum and surrounding property once the Islanders leave after the season. Barclays Center will seat 15,795 people, but there remains concerns over obstructed view seating at on end of the ice.

A renovated Nassau Coliseum will sit a maximum of 13,000 people, well below NHL requirements.

Rather said in 2013 — during a press conference to announce the renovation of the antiquated Nassau Coliseum — that a return to Long Island would not likely be in the cards for the Islanders.

“At the end of the day this place will be beautiful and it’s going to be great for concerts,” he said. “But for a professional sports team to play here all the time you have issues with suits and boxes, and whole bunch of other things.”


County executive announces plans to build new corporate offices and practice rink for Isles

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

The Islanders could be getting new offices and a new practice facility on Long Island, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano announced during Wednesday’s State of the County Address.

The plan is to build the Islanders a new corporate office and practice facility at Cantiague Park in Hicksville. The announced plans come as the Islanders regular season begins to wind down. The team has only seven remaining regular home dates left at Nassau Coliseum, however there will be at least two more after that for postseason action.

The project will be privately funded, according to Newsday.

Mangano also addressed the planed renovation for the Nassau Coliseum that will take place after the Islanders leave for Brooklyn. The updated building will host several Islanders games, Nets games and minor league hockey. To read more of this story, click here


Bruce Ratner discusses Nassau Coliseum redevelopment

Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

When the Islanders finish the 2014-15 season they will vacate the Nassau Coliseum and Bruce Ratner, owner of the Barclays center and the man responsible for bring the Nets to Brooklyn, will redevelop the outdated arena. nassau

Ratner attended at a business breakfast at Eisenhower Park and spoke about some of the plans for the new Coliseum.

“It has the potential to be great again,” he said during the breakfast, according to’s Scott Clinco.

Details about plans for the venue have been scarce, but Ratner said, according to Clinco, that designs for the building are in the process of being finished. He also said that “he feels the arena will be one of the most beautiful in the world.”

The real estate developer also mentioned that ticket prices will include the price of parking and that — like the Barclays Center in Brooklyn — the new Nassau Coliseum will feature concession stands with a local flair. Ratner did discuss what content he plans to bring to the arena. Mentioned were concerts, six Islander games, college sports, Nets preseason games and an AHL team.

No specific AHL club was mentioned, though Ratner has discussed bringing the Sound Tigers to the Coliseum in the past. Moving the Sound Tigers would make the most sense to keep the Isles farm team close to the NHL club and keep a footing with the Long Island fan base.

The Nassau County Legislature approved Ratners plan for the Coliseum in September of 2013. Last month, a Barclays Center spokesman told Newsday that Ratner had submitted draft plans to the Town of Hempstead and will file a final application by the end of the year.