In an interesting twist, the company that helped lure the New York Islanders to Brooklyn has won the bid to renovate the soon-to-be-former home arena of the team — the same arena that was too out of date for the team to stay there anymore.
From NBC New York:
New York officials have chosen an affiliate of Forest City Enterprises, which recently opened the Barclays Center, to oversee a $229 million renovation of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano made the announcement Thursday.
Nassau Events Center, LLC was picked over the Madison Square Garden Co.
The selection of developer Bruce Ratner’s group is expected to accelerate the long-stalled process to renovate the aging arena.
There’s also this, from NHL.com:
Ratner has promised to host 300 events per year in Uniondale, N.Y. Under his plan, the Islanders would return to the Coliseum to play six home games each season. He will also look to attract an American Hockey League franchise as a tenant, and fill other dates with concerts and family shows.
“We’re planning to redo the whole thing. It needs a redo. It’s 41 years old. Doesn’t look good, not good when you’re in it. You really need to pick a team that’s going to completely redo it,” Ratner told WLNY-TV in May.
“It’s got to look beautiful, iconic. Because there are 3 million people that live on the Island, and they’ve gotta have a place – whether it’s entertainment, whether its sports – they’ve gotta have a great place. And we’ve put together an incredible team.”
Ratner’s plan reportedly calls for a 13,000-seat Coliseum, down from its current capacity of 16,170 for hockey.
It’s not clear if this decision will accelerate the Islanders’ plan to move to Brooklyn for the 2015-16 season.
The next step in the process is to get approval from the Nassau County Legislature. And, apparently, MSG isn’t willing to give up quite yet.