Noted resort company Las Vegas Sands has entered into an agreement to purchase the long-term lease of the Nassau Hub — the nearly 80 acres of land in Nassau County’s Uniondale that is home to the former home of the New York Islanders, the Nassau Coliseum.
Amongst the highlights of the proposed resort set forth by Sands is a luxury hotel, a casino, and a world-class live performance venue — but the future of the Coliseum remains very much uncertain.
“There has to be significantly more revenue than what’s being generated there now,” Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said on Thursday. “You also have to take into consideration the fact that is the Coliseum viable? As it currently exists, I don’t think it is.”
Built in 1972, the Coliseum housed the Islanders until 2015 before a short second stint from 2018-2021 following a $165 million renovation.
Nowadays, the approximately 14,000-seat arena’s lights are off more often than on. The NBA G-League’s Long Island Nets — the minor-league affiliate of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets — and the New York Riptide of the National Lacrosse League are the main tenants.
Blakeman said that he had been in touch with both teams and it’s his “goal to incorporate” the Long Island Nets and the Riptide into the area’s future.
In November, the Riptide signed a multi-year lease agreement to remain at Nassau Coliseum.
“As the No. 1 tenant at the Coliseum and a source of entertainment for families throughout the region, the NY Riptide look forward to sitting down with stakeholders and being a part of the future of the HUB,” a team spokesperson told amNewYork Sports.
During their respective offseasons, the building has struggled to attract any other forms of entertainment. According to its official website, the Coliseum did not have a single event scheduled for the entire month of September and just three events in October.
“There’s a lot of competition,” Blakeman said. “You have UBS Arena [the new home of the Islanders] and you got Barclays Center. You have Madison Square Garden… it’s very competitive. So you have to have a source of revenue.”
Whether or not Sands and Nassau County can find the right niche for the Coliseum to survive, Blakeman isn’t quite ready to see it torn down — which is a logical option given the potential dramatic redevelopment of the area.
“It would be my preference,” Blakeman began, “that if there were a way to restore and keep the Coliseum, I think from a nostalgic standpoint, and from a historical standpoint… I think that would be an added bonus.”