The developer behind Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center that lured the New York Islanders from the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum has been tapped to work on a plan for the aging Long Island arena.
Beginning next year, Bruce Ratner will assess whether the 40-year-old Coliseum can remain viable without an anchor sports tenant. He is reportedly doing the study for free.
Some officials have suggested a smaller arena could work for the region. The Coliseum’s current capacity is 17,000.
In addition to Ratner, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano has selected local builder Renaissance Downtowns to develop the 77-acre site surrounding the venue, according to Newsday.
Mangano told the paper revenue from the surrounding development could be used to fund renovations for the arena, and added that for him, razing is not an option.
“This is a process to avoid a darkened Coliseum,” he said. “That’s something I don’t want to see.”
The venue received 16 violations in October from the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration after inspectors discovered workers had been exposed to asbestos. It was also cited for inadequately lighted exit routes and other violations.