“Nassau Events Center also agreed to accept all costs and responsibilities for operating, insuring, maintaining and providing utilities for the Coliseum beginning Aug. 1, 2015…” – Long Island Business News
August has always been a big month for the Coliseum. Do you remember the 2011 referendum that would have had Nassau’s taxpayers shelling out for a new sports complex? Or how about when Forest City Ratner recently won the bid to revamp the aging Uniondale arena? Each occurred in August. Do you know which month the County’s lease with the current facilities manager at the Coliseum ends? You guessed it, during summer vacation.
Did you ever wonder why major Coliseum decisions are made while many residents are probably out of town or otherwise engaged in end-of-summer and back-to-school activities?
The dog days of August in Uniondale
According to a Long Island Business News article by John Callegari, published Aug. 15, 2013, "Forest City Ratner selected to redevelop Coliseum,” “After months of back and forth, Forest City Ratner has been selected to redevelop the 43-year-old Nassau Coliseum, County Executive Ed Mangano announced today.”
That’s right. The decision was made at the height of the vacation season here on Long Island. Couldn’t Nassau officials have waited until after Labor Day to publicize their choice? Oddly enough, wouldn’t more people have heard about it if the County held off just a few more days? In this case, it seems as though logic is being defied. But wait, there’s more.
They held a vote in August but nobody came
On Aug. 1, 2011, the County held a public referendum that, according to Nassau’s government website, would “decide the fate of the New York Islanders.” We all know how that turned out. The Islanders, who currently call the Coliseum their home, subsequently inked a deal to play at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. By the way, properties of the new Coliseum bid-winner, Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner Companies, include the Barclays Center.
Why did the county hold a referendum in the middle of summer when a number of residents were probably on vacation? There’s that common sense again being challenged.
At the moment, the developer who won the bid to rebuild the Coliseum is set to assume responsibility for operating the venue next August. Does anyone else see a pattern developing here?